How Did The Scarlet Letter Change

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The Scarlet Letter, a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, contains the motif of a red letter “A” that brings the story to life. The scarlet letter is an embroidered symbol which incorporates power in the novel. The scarlet letter upon Hester's bosom evolved and developed from something negative to something positive; from Hester, the villagers, Pearl, and Hawthorne, the views of the scarlet letter changed drastically. The letter “A” was intended to punish Hester Prynne, but instead, Hester made the punishment both beautiful and elaborate. This shows how much Hester did not want the Puritans to see her true emotions: pride, love and passion. Throughout the novel, Hester kept the true meaning of the scarlet letter hidden from her daughter. In Chapter…show more content…
“That first object of which Pearl seemed to become aware was,—shall we say it?—the scarlet letter on Hester’s bosom...the infant’s eyes had been caught by the glimmering of the gold embroidery about the letter” (99). Pearl, a sinful creation, was first aware of the mark upon Hester's bosom that caused her mother so much suffering. Hester dressed Pearl to look like the scarlet letter because that was all her mother saw. Hester mostly had constant contact with Pearl and the scarlet letter, thus Pearl and the scarlet letter became close. They became so close that when Hester took off the scarlet letter near the brook, Pearl felt as if though Hester had pushed Pearl away from her. “Pearl took some eelgrass, and imitated, as best she could, on her own bosom, the decoration with which she was so familiar on her mother’s. A letter,—the letter A,—but freshly green, instead of scarlet!” (182). The eelgrass is green, the color green acts as a representation of positivity. She draws a scarlet letter upon herself because she connected with it. Pearl has no understanding yet that her mother, wore the red letter as a punishment. What she has understood is that she has a connection to the letter. Pearl will always connect the scarlet letter to herself and with her mother which explains why she thinks of it in a positive
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