Theme Of Clothing In The Scarlet Letter

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Set in 17th century Puritan Boston, The Scarlet Letter is a tale about a good woman who made a terrible mistake. She committed adultery. In Puritan society, adultery was the ultimate sin, and it was punishable by death. Since Hester Prynne gave birth to a child due to this sin, the townspeople decide not to punish her by death, but rather allow her to live out her days with her child while condemned to wear a scarlet A on her bosom. Many themes stand out in The Scarlet Letter, and readers will notice different themes while reading the story. However, one particular theme presents itself throughout the entire novel. Hawthorne’s use of symbolism in The Scarlet Letter such as the scarlet A, Pearl, and personified nature all help to support the …show more content…
On the front of her gown, the letter A was embroidered with gold thread on fine red cloth. Hawthorne describes that the A was decorated extravagantly (Hawthorne 14). After reading this section, readers discover that Hester is very skilled in the art of sewing. However, Hester does not create fine clothing for herself, but rather she decorates Pearl’s clothing. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester dresses in dull clothing with only the one decoration, the A. Hester is a very charitable woman. She dresses Pearl in fancier clothing to enhance who she is (Hawthorne 42). Though most readers assume that Hester decorates the scarlet letter to show the townspeople her ability and to prove to them that she is not ashamed to wear the letter, other readers choose to believe a different reason. From Ugar Uçum’s perspective, the scarlet letter stands for Arthur Dimmesdale, Hester’s partner in sin. Hester embroidered the letter to carry the initial of her lover on her bosom, but most importantly, near her heart (Uçum). Though Hester and Arthur committed an unthinkable sin against the Puritan community, they truly love each other. Hester did not love her husband, Roger (Hawthorne 33). In this situation, Hester and Arthur’s love represents good and Roger Chillingworth is evil because he tries everything in his power to punish the couple. The A will comfort Hester when she cannot physically be with Arthur. He will forever remain in her heart. Pearl, their daughter, on the other hand, is always with Hester and reminds her of memories (and sins) that Hester would rather

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