Hester's Negative Influence In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In the Dark Romantic Novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne conveys the theme that being surrounded by a negative influence can change a person for the worse through his use of recurring motifs, notably, the Scarlet Letter and its effect on Hester. When Hester and Dimmesdale meet in the forest, the two speak privately and honestly to one another for the first time in 7 years. They both decide that they wish to leave the puritanical society which has caused them so much ignominy and pain. With the decision made, Hester decides to throw the scarlet letter next to the brook. Upon doing so, she realizes that “the burden of shame and anguish departed from her spirit … she had not know the weight until she felt the freedom” (Hawthorne 199).…show more content…
Hawthorne uses the motif of the scarlet letter as a symbol of the Puritan ideas of shame which Hester is throwing away. The brook near which Hester throws the letter has a symbolic nature as well. Its association with sadness reminds the reader of the sadness which Hester has gone through since she began wearing the letter. Here, Hester decides that she must throw away the scarlet letter in order to rid herself of the negative influential power which it holds over her. This shows that the negative influence of the scarlet letter and Puritan ideas about morality in general change Hester for the worse, and only the metaphorical removal of the letter can reverse that
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