Positive Impact Of Hester Prynne In Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter

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Despite its demeaning purpose, the scarlet letter ultimately had a positive impact on Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s timeless classic The Scarlet Letter. Although the scarlet letter was meant to mark Hester for her sinful acts and announce them to the world, she never lets herself be defined by the letter on her dress. She even utilizes her needle skills to decorate the A, which is “surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread” (50). Even though Hester has been made to wear the scarlet letter, she makes the best of it and turns it into something beautiful, showcasing her artistic talent. Even when she is standing on the scaffold in front of everyone, facing public humiliation, “her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy…show more content…
Hester’s tale is legendary by the end of the book because of all that she has endured due to the scarlet letter, and the person that she is in spite of it. Additionally, another positive impact the scarlet letter has on Hester is that because of it, she is all the more sympathetic and selfless. Even though the letter causes her and her daughter Pearl to be ostracized from society, Hester does not become bitter and angry in her seclusion. Instead, she becomes a “self-ordained Sister of Mercy” and comforts those who are distraught, being “the softer pillow for the head that needed one” (149). The meaning of the scarlet letter even changes because of her generosity and altruism: “such helpfulness was found in her, --so much power to do, and power to sympathize, --that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne” (149). All the hardships Hester goes through, the majority of which are attributed to the letter, allow her to be a more understanding and caring
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