Scarlet Letter Symbolism

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The scarlet letter has different meanings throughout the story and to each of the characters. The original meaning of the scarlet “A” is “Adultery”, but later in the story the townspeople and other characters begin to interpret it in different ways, each of them with their own idea and belief. Hester starts being more active in society and that makes the townspeople think differently about the scarlet “A”. The scarlet letter doesn´t keep the same meaning throughout the whole story, it changes with Hester´s actions and the Puritans beliefs. Hester starts being more active in society, she starts helping the poor and nursing the sick. These actions make the townspeople think differently about the scarlet “A”, to a point in which the townspeople…show more content…
At the beginning of the story, the scarlet “A” is considered as a badge of shame. Hester doesn´t show the scarlet letter as a symbol of shame when she wears it, because she wears a beautiful scarlet “A” embroidered with gold, that she made herself thanks to her ability in making precious needle works. Hester is capable of wearing the scarlet letter in a very determined and secure way. This is why, at the beginning of the story, the townspeople think she is “proud” of her sin. The puritan beliefs say that the scarlet letter should not be pretty, because it is a “punishment” for the sinners to feel ashamed. Hester doesn´t reflect that when she wears it. At first, for Hester the scarlet letter represents the loneliness that she feels, the sense of guilt and how society is judging her for her sin. Later, however, she comes to terms with her fate and accepts it. This is when the letter “A” becomes something secondary because Hester finds the strength and confidence inside her, to a point where she refuses to take the scarlet letter off, saying that is has grown too deep in her. It has become part of…show more content…
He disappeared for a period of time and Hester didn´t know if he was even alive. All this time Chillingworth had been captured by Indians and was living with them. When he came back to Boston, Chillingworth finds Hester on the scaffold holding a baby that´s not his and wearing a scarlet “A” on her chest. Chillingworth talks to Hester and asks her who is the child´s father, but Hester refuses to tell him. In that moment Chillingworth swears revenge, but not towards Hester, since he thinks that the scarlet letter and Pearl is punishment enough and that she has received what she deserves. Chillingworth wants revenge towards Hester´s lover and he won´t rest until he finds him. Roger tells Hester not to tell anyone that he is her husband, he doesn´t want people to know that Hester is his wife because people would think of him as the betrayed husband and he would live in shame. Chillingworth pretends to be a doctor, that way he won´t drag too much attention since the town is small and the people living in it don´t have access to good

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