Analysis Of Hester Prynne In The Scarlet Letter

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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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