Hester Prynne In Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter'

Decent Essays
Alex Canaday
Mrs. Wood
English Honors III 3A
2 October 2015
Word Count: 641
Scarlet Letter Final Essay Assignment In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is forced to wear the letter “A” due to a crime she committed. She is forced to wear the letter on every piece of clothing and is required to show it at all times to show people what she had done. Throughout the story, the letter changes meaning. It was supposed to be a symbol of shame and guilt, but ended up being a powerful symbol to identify Hester Prynne. It was originally intended to label Hester as an Adulterer, but as the story progresses it changes to “able.” In the beginning of the story, Hester Prynne walks out of the jail cell into the daylight with everyone watching her, thinking
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Her refusal to stop wearing the letter proves it has a different meaning other than adultery. Hester Prynne transforms the meaning through her good deeds and deserved redemptions. The effects of the scarlet letter lie in the hands of Hester Prynne. She changes her identity and her way of life. The community notices the changes Hester Prynne makes and the good deeds she does and they begin to reinterpret the meaning of the scarlet letter. Through her actions, Prynne redeems herself and is no longer thought of as an outcast in the community. Hester Prynne controlled what the letter meant. Her actions and the good deeds she did allowed the letter to be interpreted the way she intended. In the beginning she was labelled as an adulterer, but because she did good deeds and mended the wrongs she had committed, the letter represented something good. The way she carried herself and the way she acted towards others demonstrated her true identity and character. The letter stayed with her throughout the majority of her life, but it didn’t mean “Adulterer” anymore, it meant “Able” or

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