The Scarlet Letter: Change and Transformation

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Change and Transformation

The setting of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet letter” is crucial to the understanding of the event that takes place in the story. The setting of the story is in Salem, Massachusetts during the Puritan era. During the Puritan era, adultery was taken as a very serious sin, and this is what Hester and Dimmesdale committ with each other. Because of the sin, their lives change, Hester has to walk around in public with a Scarlet Letter “A” which stands for adultery, and she is constantly being tortured and is thought of as less than a person. Dimmesdale walks around with his sin kept as secret, because he never admits his sin, his mental state is changing, and the sin degrades his well-being. Chillingworth is Hester’s husband, the man he cheats on with Dimmsdale. He also changes with the effects of the sin. He is on a quest for revenge, on a quest to find the father and to torture him. This changes the type of man he was. Throughout the Scarlet Letter, the main characters undergo a lot of change and transformation. In the novel, the way Hester is viewed, by both herself and others, changes over the years since she commits her sin. In the beginning, her sin weighs her down. She is ashamed by the “A” she wears. The people who know about her and her sin, disrespect her, and look down upon her. She is being teased by children, and strangers make faces at her. Others, who know about her, make nasty comments about her both, to her face and behind her back. She is being degraded as a human being, but she accepts the torture because she knows they are consequences of her actions. Eventually, she continues to work with the community and her statusbegins to change. The symbols meaning goes from Adultery to Able. She becomes stronger and mentally more courageous. When she removes her “A” in the forest she completely changes. In the 3rd paragraph of chapter 13, Hawthorne writes, "Such helpfulness was found in her,—so much power to...
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