English 11 AP
February 25, 2014
In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the scarlet letter portrays the image and a story of a young woman who has committed adultery and is forced to wear the scarlet letter “A” on the center of her chest. Hawthorne tells about her life and how she goes through life with the excruciating burden like that of sin. When Hester Prynne is first accused of committing adultery, the puritan society refuses to acknowledge her for they fear the effects of the scarlet letter. As time progresses, Hester begins to give back to her community to show that she does not let the effects of the letter stop her from doing what she wants; she helps feed, nurse, and sew clothing for the poor, and people begin to see the A as a symbol of able, instead of adultery. After the community sees all that Hester has done, they begin to accept her and are no longer judgmental towards her.
In the puritan society, a rather large letter on your chest represents a great sin worthy of public representation. In Hester Prynne’s case, she is forced to wear the letter A on everything she wears to symbolize she has committed adultery. Hawthorne describes the A as, “On the breast of her grown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold-thread, appeared the letter A” (40). Hester purposely makes her A stand out because she is not ashamed of her sin, more proud than anything because her greatest treasure, Pearl, is born. Hawthorne states, “Then gasping for breath, did Hester Prynne clutch the fatal token, instinctively endeavoring to tear it away; so infinite was the torture inflicted by the intelligent touch of Pearls baby-hand” (73). The fact that that one little gesture has such a big impact on her is unbelievable. The letter strikes Hester in a huge way and it makes her want to immediately rip it off to feel again unified with her puritan society. Hawthorne writes, “But,...
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