Adultery In The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Nathaniel Hawthorne is among many other greater writes of his time such as Edgar Allan Poe, Joyce Carol Oates, and many others. He has wrote many different pieces, however his most famous one is The Scarlet Letter. The Scarlet Letter remains popular today, it is taught in several different schools across the United States. There are even movies, such as “Easy A: that use the concept of adultery and the scarlet letter, based off of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, to make a comedy. However, today adultery is much more widely accepted in society than it was during the Puritan Era. During the time of the famous novel an adulterer could be tried and hung for the sin. It just so happened that the main character of “The Scarlet Letter”, Hester Prynne, …show more content…
Hester Prynne wore this letter upon her chest for many years, enduring the torment she felt within her heart and that she felt from the outsiders. Once Hester was released from the prison, she found a small home for her child, Pearl, and herself to inhabit, on the outskirts of the Puritan town, Boston. After roughly seven years, Hester had changed her ways. On page 146 in chapter thirteen, the concepts of the “new Hester” is discussed, “None so ready as she to give of her little substance to every demand of poverty…” Originally, it was said Hester only did as much as it took to make a living for her and Pearl to get by. However, there is a predominant change in character, that all of the citizens of Boston began to recognize, this discussion is continued on page 146, “Such helpfulness was found in her,- much power to do, and power to sympathize,- that many people refused to interpret the scarlet “A” by its original signification. They said it that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength.” This became the point in the story in which others recognized Hester in a new light. While she did commit the awful sin of adultery, she was being shown as a person who is not defined by the adultery symbol, but as a person who was “able” to do powerful things. The “A” was no longer defining her as a completely horrible sinner. Also, …show more content…
The first interpretation of the scarlet letter was that the “A” stood for adultery, the shameful sin Hester Prynne committed, that forced her to wear this symbol for the rest of her life. “Able” was the next way the scarlet letter “A” could be represented as. Throughout the story the townspeople of Boston were able to see the good in Hester and the change she had undergone, noting that the “A” would no longer mean to them “adultery”, but “able”. Finally, the last thing the scarlet letter “A” symbolized was “alone”, as seen throughout Hawthorne’s entire novel. She was set apart from people; distinguished differently for the “A” she wore upon her chest symbolized her dark past. Overall, the scarlet letter “A” symbolized many things in the novel; however, Hester understood and dealt with all of the consequences the “A” presented to her. Do you believe you could show the same strength that Hester was able to display throughout this

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