Personal Transmutation In Maya Angelou's The Scarlet Letter

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Personal Transmutation The successful memoirist and poet Maya Angelou deduced,“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude” (as qtd. in “Maya Angelou quotes” 2). As a punishment for breaking the seventh commandment, Hester Prynne was sentenced to wear a scarlet letter “A”, meaning adulteress, on her bosom. Consequently, Hester received judgement and shame from her bold stigma and changed her attitude to alleviate her pain. Therefore, Hester Prynne changed the definition of her stigma from a degrading description, to “able”, a dignifying definition. The scarlet letter’s change in meaning correlates directly to Hester Prynne’s actions and new found calm temperament. The meaning change stems from Hester’s ability to accept her situation and forgive the sources of her ridicule.
By accepting her mistake and not circumventing or avoiding her consequences, Hester Prynne modified the demeaning definition of her scarlet letter “A.” Hester Prynne proved her ability to take the ramifications that followed her and accept her fate frequently throughout the novel. Although Hester Prynne confronted ridicule from her surrounding neighbors, Hester showed her ability to accept her situation when she showed “[no] irritation nor irksomeness” (Hawthorne 179) towards the
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In order to escape the frequent ridicule, Hester changed her actions and revealed to the Boston community that she was able to combat the fierce insults and persevere. Hester began her transformation with the initial acceptance and acknowledgement of her sin. She furthered her metamorphosis with the decision to overlook the attitudes and demeanors of those around her and assist all who either lacked necessities or sought ornate embroidery. The alteration from “adulteress” to “able” was not caused incidentally, Hester Prynne changed the meaning with her

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