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The Letter A As A Symbol In The Scarlet Letter

802 words - 4 pages

     Throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter there are many symbols. One of the biggest symbols of the novel is the scarlet letter A that Hester Prynne is sentenced to wear after she commits adultery. It is a symbol that is sewn onto her clothes for everyone to see. It is a punishment that is meant to humiliate her for the duration of the time that she stays in Puritanical Boston. During the novel, the scarlet letter changes and evolves from meaning adultery to meaning ability and even physically changes its form.
     In the beginning of the story, Hester is being punished for adultery, and is forced to wear the letter A on her bosom. It is ...view middle of the document...

The letter became a symbol of love and respect, and meant something good. Hester is able to deal with the townspeople, and they see her and have a new liking for her. They seem to forgive her for everything that she has done, like it doesn't matter, or it never happened. If Hester ran away from Boston, it would have shown her weakness. It would have shown that people of the town had power over her, and could make her feel guilty. Running away would show everybody that she was ashamed, and wasn't really good enough to live among them. Staying in Boston showed the townspeople that she was able to overcome her shame and that adultery is a part of who she is as a person. By accepting her adultery Hester is able to move on, having learned from her experiences. At one point Hester says: “Were I to be quit of it, it would fall away of its own nature, or be transformed into something that should speak of a different purport” (155). This foreshadows that the letter A might show up in new ways.
     The letter A shows up numerous times in The Scarlet Letter in many different ways. The letter is originally wonderfully embroidered...

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