A Symbolism In Scarlet Letter

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The Letter “A”
At the start of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, The Scarlet Letter, the “A” acted as a symbol for Hester’s sin of adultery. In fact, her Puritan community punished her by forcing her to don a scarlet letter “A” upon her chest. Wearing this letter labelled her as a fallen woman. This caused her to stand out in such a way that numerous community members looked down at her and judged her for her sin. However, as time elapsed, the community gradually saw Hester for her contributions to it rather than her sin. Thus, shifting the meaning of the “A” from adultery to able.
Hester's character allowed for her contributions to outshine her sin. She did not fight “with the public, but submitted uncomplainingly to its worst usage,” (112) and she remained pure (112). Therefore, the community became more inclined to transform their hate to love (112). Within her community, Hester brought food to the poor, took care of the sick, and generally became a source of aid in times of emergency (112-113). Doing these acts shifted how people perceived Hester, and by extension the “A” itself. “The letter was a symbol of her calling… They said it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a women’s strength,” (113). While not everyone completely shifted their stance (114), the community began to take pride in Hester. As seen when they pointed out her scarlet letter and then referred to her as “the town’s own Hester,” (114). If the community had viewed the “A” as a
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Their viewpoint of Hester became more complimentary which the meaning of the scarlet letter reflected. However, Hester, when confronted by Pearl, lied and claimed the “A” had no deeper meaning. According to Hester, the “A” acted as a fashion statement. Whereas the community recognized it as an emblem of Hester’s strength and abilities. By chapter fifteen, it became apparent that the “A” had multiple

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