Change In Scarlet Letter

1017 Words5 Pages
Who knew a single letter could be a character! Normally a character is a living person, place or thing. However, in the Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne it is different. In The Scarlet Letter: a Reading by Nina Baym, she writes about how the scarlet letter is a character in her chapter The Scarlet Letter in the Scarlet letter. The Letter A that has been placed on the chest of Hester Prynne, has been proven to be a character, has changed throughout the story, and has impacted each character in different ways. Though it may come as a surprise, the scarlet letter is actually a character in the novel. Nina Baym stated in her article that “The primary meaning of the word character is a “conventional graphic device placed on an object…show more content…
In the novel the letter stood for, aldress, able, and angel. But looking outside of the novel and taking a look at the bigger picture, the letter could mean almost anything. With the Puritan community, being very religious, Bayn connected it back to the bible by saying “it can stand for “apple” in a reference to the misdeed committed in the garden of Eden, and thinking of the Bible account as well as Puritan theology, we can make it Adam, everyman (and everywoman too)” (88). In the bible, Adam and Eve were told to not eat off of the tree in the middle of the garden, by God, but yet they did so and were punished for their actions/sins. Although Hester’s sin is different than Adam and Eve’s, the Puritan community still took action to her sin and punishes her by making her wear the letter A on her chest showing everyone that she had committed adultery and was unable to follow the 6th commandment (Thou shalt not commit adultery) in the Bible. “Along with that meaning came a fixed judgement of good or evil. But their view of meaning is shown up as native at the outset of the story, for that moment that the rake begins, that supposedly immutable meaning has already been undermined by Hester’s artistic and beautiful interpretation of the letter” (86). Although people view hester’s letter as a bad symbol, Hester is not afraid of what she has done. She gave birth to her wonderful child,
Open Document