The Scarlet Letter

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2. The scarlet letter is clearly a symbol throughout the text, but its meaning grows and changes continually from its first appearance in chapter two, to its last at the end of the story. Explain how it changes. Support your explanations with specific references to the text.

In the Scarlet Letter, Hester was marked with a red ‘A’ on her dress. At first, this meant that she had committed adultery. This ‘A’ separated her from the rest of the community in Boston because they knew what she had done. But as the story continues, the community begins to recognize the ‘A’ to mean ‘Able’ because of her kind ways. She was willing to treat the ill. But she still felt segregated from the rest, as if she was in a ‘sphere’, or world, of her own. Because of this red letter, her warmness turned into a ‘marble coldness’. She was a seemingly whole different person because of this letter, just like it was meant to make her feel initially. However, to Pearl, the ‘A’ is what makes Hester her mother. Without it, she wouldn’t be the same. At one point in the story, Hester removes her letter in the forest after talking with the minister, and Pearl has her put it back on, despite the fact the her mother loathed it. However, in the end of the story, Hester is seen as an ‘Angel’ because of her goodness. The ‘A’ then stood for that characteristic. Because of Hester, the townspeople changed their attitude toward the letter.

4. Which character seems to you most responsible for the sufferings of the main characters in the story? Explain. Include specific text references to support your ideas.
In my opinion, there were two people who created much pain and suffering throughout the book. However, there was one major character that seemed to do the most damage. That would have to be the priest. He was the man who committed adultery with Hester. He was much too prideful to admit that fact, and was scared of having to share an equal amount of shame as Hester had to face. That not only...
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