Although publicly admitting to sin can be a challenging task, time will heal the initial pain. Hester Prynne, of the Scarlet Letter, lives this lesson as she commits the sin of adultery. Her punishment for the sin is to wear the letter “A” on her bosom until she is allowed to remove it by the Puritan authorities wishes. Initially, Hester feels guilt and shame as she wears it. As Hester’s character grows in strength, she overcomes the letter’s original purpose of punishment. By wearing the “A,” Hester was publicly humiliated, however, her development in character causes a change in the meaning of the Scarlet Letter, which leads her to taking pride in the letter as it grows a part of her. After Hester’s sin the Puritan community places a false …show more content…
The letter gave Hester a new power to sympathize with and be charitable to others. Townspeople even began to interpret the letter very differently from its original meaning. They began to believe that the symbol no longer meant adultery, however, its new significance was to mean “Able” (111). Her selfless acts of kindness attracted the attention of the community as she did needlework for the poor in her spare time. The community did not know the true reason of why Hester did this, but the act caused her true character and natural instinct to be generous to be reflected. This act caused the meaning of the letter to change and Hester became a legend in the society. Publicly wearing the letter caused Hester much suffering, but her inner strength raised above the sin as she was able to turn the meaning of the symbol …show more content…
The Scarlet Letter was Hester’s forced punishment and is a reminder to the whole community of Hester’s sin of adultery. As Hester’s character grows in strength she realizes that “if truth were everywhere to be shown, a scarlet letter would blaze forth on many a bosom” (59). Hester expresses how everyone sins and if everyone was punished the way she was, many people would have to wear a letter of their own. The punishment of wearing the “A” gave Hester the freedom of not having to hide her sins from others. However, the people with hidden sins have to protect their reputation which causes a lack of freedom. Everyone in the community saw Hester at her weakest point, therefore her character and abilities could only grow from there. The power of the Scarlet Letter has provided Hester with a new found freedom for
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According to them, adultery is the biggest sin and if anyone was found committing this kind of sin then they will be punished and have to wear “A” on their dress for committing the shameful act. In the novel, Hester lifted the weight of the scarlet letter on her shoulders because the Puritan community forced her to wear the letter “A”. This demonstrates the importance of geography and demonstrating the community’s religious viewpoints because of its place. If the story had taken place somewhere else then Hester would not have to through this agony. Geography is the device that makes the story.
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester transforms into a stronger, more confident woman through the experiences she encounters because of the scarlet letter she wears. At the beginning of the novel when Hester is ordered to wear the scarlet letter, she suffers from feelings of hopelessness and despair; feelings that trigger the thought of suicide as an option to end her suffering. While newly wearing the letter, Hester feels as though it is only a burden; however, that changes as the letter soon reveals to be a gift in disguise. The scarlet letter allows Hester to sense the guilt of those who appear to be the purest and sinless, showing her the true hypocrisy of her society. By eventually learning of the hypocrisy of her society, Hester realizes that her fellow men and women should not have the power to ruin her life.
This, however, causes the town to change their perspective towards the scarlet letter. At one point, the town “refused to interpret the scarlet “A” by its original signification. They said that it mean[t] ‘Able’ (158).” This reveals how Hester’s enlightenment towards society not only caused her to grow but it also caused the town to progress. Hester’s enlightened knowledge and her ability to pass it on will allow Hester to become a successful judge because
Society had now begun to think that Hester had served her punishment. Although Hester was not accepted society before, she began to see the positive aspects of the community and was able continue on with her own life which eventually led to her being recognition of good character. Eventually recognizing her sin she had become a symbol of the Puritan faith, and eventually found her place in the community in a positive way. In The Scarlet Letter, the whole period of time the letter "A" was embroidered on her clothing it only represented one ideology, which was adultery. However, as time continues forward the community begins to finally start accepting her again, through her positive actions and influences, the letter "A" starts to represent a more positive ideology.
The townspeople made Hester Prynne wear the Scarlet Letter as a symbol of her sin for her to remember everyday. I was asked to wear a letter of my own choice that represented a flaw or characteristic. My experience was somewhat similar to Hester because we both recognized our flaws. We didn’t try to hide the truth. I didn’t try to hide my flaw that I expressed through my letter, but rather embrace it.
She was so strong and powerful she changed the symbol of iniquity itself. It was the “helpfulness found in [Hester]- so much power to do and power to sympathize- that many people refused to interpret the scarlet ‘A’ by its original signification. They said that it meant ‘Able;’ so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength” (Hawthorne 152). The scarlet letter was a mark of adultery meant to bring shame and guilt upon those who bore it. Hester lived her life with strength even under the weight of the public eye, that she altered the view of the scarlet letter.
Even though the Puritans may have designated the letter as a representation of sin, Hester’s renewed sense of pride does not want society to define the A for her. Rather Hester wants to define it herself and by doing so she develops responsibility and power over her own actions. Because Hester has the power to change who she is, she also has the power to change what the Scarlet Letter represents. By letting the letter be “embroidered with gold thread” readers are able to see how for Hester sin is not something to be fearful of; furthermore, it allows one to see how Hester has developed into an independent individual who accepts who she is and the situation she is presented with. Hester’s lover unfortunately
Hester's True Side In committing an act of adultery, Hester Prynne, the primary character in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, finds herself a victim of harsh judgement and ridicule by her Puritan community. She becomes isolated as a result of this scandalous behavior and becomes emotionally involved in a love triangle between her husband and her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, who is the town minister. As a result of her shameful history, the townspeople attempt to destroy and embarrass her by socially neglecting her and labeling her as an outcast and loner. Though the people of the community pursue several attempts to shame her, Hester Prynne's beauty, selflessness, and strength help her overcome this rejection from the townspeople and
The book the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a book about Hester Prynne a woman living in the 17th century. Hester commits the sinable act of adultery and is punished being forced to wear the scarlet letter A on her bosom. The symbol punishes her as an adultress and marks her shame, making her an outcast in the male dominated society, as she has gone against the strict restrictions society has imposed. So due to this, in regards to John Updikeś claim about Hester, I agree that she is “a mythic version of every woman’s attempt to integrate her sexuality with societal demands” through wearing the scarlet letter. Although the scarlet letter was meant to be a symbol of punishment, it gave Hester liberation from the social norms.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is an extreme outcast in her society following her public ignominy and being sinfully branded as the adulterer. Succeeding Hester’s removal of the “A” from her chest, she initially believes that “the burden of shame and anguish departed from her spirit” (182). Hester feels as though the removal of the “A” has removed the stigma pertaining to the “A”, as well as the constraints and disregard society has cast upon her. But whether or not Hester contains a physical marker of her ignominy, she will be abandoned within society. After seven years of being accustomed to Hester’s sin, townspeople still believe Hester was “dead, in respect to any claim of sympathy” (203).
In the beginning the scarlet letter represented adultery and shame, but then the A represented “able.” Hester Prynne showed people that greatness can come out of huge mistake. One bad chapter does not mean your story is over. Willingly, Hester wanted to pick herself up again and move on with her life and eventually people noticed that. They began to respect her and think of her as strong and commendable
These characteristics are brought forth by the scarlet letter. It is these same aspects of Hester that enable her to keep her sanity during her arduous time spent in isolation. Therefore, even though the scarlet “A” brings Hester great pain and suffering, it also transforms her in a way that allows her to withstand the burden that is brought on by the disgraceful symbol. As told by the narrator, "The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude!
Hester's punishment was a judicial sentence; however, being forced to stand on the scaffold for three hours, and to wear the scarlet letter "A" for the rest of her life. It was socially humiliating. Hester was sent to prison for committing adultery. Hester was forced to live with the consequences by wearing the scarlet letter "A". Hester is physically and emotionally reminded of her sin, while wearing the scarlet letter "A".
We are all sinners, no matter how hard we try to hide our faults, they always seem to come back, one way or another. Written in the 19th century, Nathaniel Hawthorne shows us Hester Prynne and how one sin can change her life completely. Hester Prynne changes a great deal throughout The Scarlet Letter. Through the view of the Puritans, Hester is an intense sinner; she has gone against the Puritan way of life committing the highest act of sin, adultery. For committing such a sinful act, Hester must wear the scarlet letter while also having to bear stares from those that gossip about her.
Receiving the scarlet letter changed every aspect of Hester’s life. Especially at the start of the story, the letter symbolized the solitude and great suffering Hester faced just because of a letter placed on her bosom. The “A” also depicted how no one viewed Hester the same way as before her peccant actions. “…she saw that, owing to the peculiar effect of this convex mirror, the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance” (Hawthorne 109). The pejorative community Hester lived in never saw Hester as the beautiful, young woman she was, but now, as a horrible fiend.