Symbolism of the Scarlet Letter A.

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne Pages: 2 (658 words) Published: April 6, 2013
The Scarlet Letter.
It is safe to say that the scarlet letter A has had several meanings throughout this book. People have changed their opinions about this stigma. The scarlet letter, A can be interpreted in many different ways and can be seen in many different forms, too. The first and most obvious meaning of the letter "A" as it was written in the book is adultery. Then, as the chapters progress, the reader can see how people start to look at the A meaning “able” and not “adulterer”. Fast forward into Chapter twenty-four, and one can read Hawthorne’s description on the people’s new take on the symbol, they now look at the letter with awe, yet with reverence too. Hester, the bearer of this letter, still looks at it the same way, with the same sad eyes, even at the very end of the book. The original meaning and purpose of the A was to bring shame and scorn upon Hester, and it did, very much so. This woman, tortured by her sin, forced to wear this beautifully embroidered letter on her chest every day. The result of her sin is little Pearl, whom she loves dearly. Hawthorne states that Pearl is the scarlet letter endowed with life, being the product of her sin, in other words, a daily reminder to Hester of the sin she committed. Hester freely chooses to not remove the A even when she is not required to wear it; this confirms the guilt she feels and her determination to not forget it. She knows very well the consequences of her actions and feels horrible about it. Later in the story, we find out about Hester’s good deeds and her desire to help the poor and assist them. Even though the poor think she is beneath them because of her past, this does not stop her. Hawthorne ultimately presents Hester as a woman who represents a sensitive human being with a kind heart and emotions. Still ahead, we see the townspeople begin to suggest that the A stands for Able. Even with all of this, Hester still looked at her A in the same manner, and doesn’t stop to do so, not...
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