Lo, the scarlet letter which Hester wears! ....it hath cast a lurid gleam of awe and horrible repugnance round about her. But there stood one in the midst of you, at whose brand of sin and infamy ye have not shuddered” (Hawthorne 233).
This quote is showing the people around him that he feels guilty about what happened and that he should be wearing the scarlet letter too because he committed the sin with her. The townsmen could possibly think that the scaffold is a beautiful thing because it is where someone with great power and a good reputation stands to reveal himself. The scaffold turns from a place of humiliation to a place of great redemption of a man of importance. The letter A is the most recurring symbol throughout the book. In the beginning of the book, Hester is forced to wear a red “A” on her chest as her punishment. The “A” stands for adultery, which will always remind herself and other people what she has done. Hester is very shameful of the “A” and this is shown when it is said,
“Here, she said to herself, had been the scene of guilt, and here should be the scene …show more content…
She starts to grow into the letter more when it starts to have a different meaning and she begins to have connections with Pearl. Pearl thinks of the letter as a part of Hester’s identity so when she takes it off, she gets really upset. For example, when they were at the brook and Hester told Pearl to come across, she wouldn’t until Hester put the “A” back on. Pearl stands across the brook and pointed to Hester’s chest, after she had taken the scarlet letter off. Hester has to pretend like her old self until Pearl will come to her and Dimmesdale. While they are at the brook, “Pearl still pointed with her forefinger; and a frown gathered on her brow” (Hawthorne 192). She will not listen to her mother’s threats and continues to be defiant until the letter comes into play. The letter had a different meaning for Pearl than it did for Hester at the time, but eventually, Hester starts to embrace the “A” when the meaning of it had changed. The letter went from meaning adultery, to meaning able when, “They said that it meant Able, so strong as Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength” (Hawthorne 146). The letter went from giving Hester not so great of a reputation, to giving her a reputation of strength, which is something beautiful and something anyone would want.
Pearl is a very important symbol in The Scarlet Letter. She is the product of why Hester has to wear the letter in