The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne utilizes the scarlet letter as a symbol of punishment for Hester Prynne's sin and the ability of redemption. The scarlet "A" has many different meanings that can help and hinder the overall message. Firstly, the scarlet letter on Hester's garments symbolizes Hester's adultery and her sin in the Puritan Community, but she embroiders it with gold thread to show the possibility for beauty to emerge from her sin. She wears the letter constantly as punishment and a reminder for her sin. As the novel progresses, the letter turns Hester into an advocate for Puritan Society, because she becomes more involved in the community. In the end of the novel, Hester's symbol becomes a lesson and an example to other sinners. The letter embodies the self image …show more content…
Individually the symbols offer a well-developed message; however, the multiple meanings contradict, because the different meanings mean opposite ideas. For example, Hester will forever be seen as an adulterer and a steward. These are two opposite concepts, especially in Puritan Society, because a steward helps and an adulterer sins. As the scarlet letter changes through the novel, the symbol contradicts Hester's image and her role in society. Hester is scarred with her sin and the punishment from the Puritans. Hawthorne portrays Hester's perspective: "Hester had vainly imagined that she herself might be destined prophetess, but had long since recognized the impossibility that any mission of divine and mysterious truth should be confided to a woman stained with sin, bowed down with shame, or even burdened with a life-long sorrow" (274). The transformation of Hester being degraded to the Puritans respecting her actions is a confusing concept. It creates uncertainty of the character and the overall message of the
In the novel the scarlet letter, the scarlet letter is shown through the use of imagery and figurative language to demonstrate that judgment through society as well as sin is bad while the scarlet is a symbol of sin wrapped in good and beauty. Hester is able to take something that was meant to be a punishment for a crime she committed and turn it into something absolutely stunning. Hawthorne portrayed Pearl
Hester has to wear a letter A on her chest for her punishment of adultery. In The Scarlet Letter, the meaning and significance of the letter A is altered as the novel goes on. Hester, the townspeople, and Pearl all have views of the letter that change. Through their views of the letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author, reveals what his view on the letter is. Hester’s view of
Symbolism Within The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne created symbolism throughout The Scarlet Letter in order to develop the theme throughout Hester’s life. Hester is portrayed as a sheltered soul, shunned from society due to her adulterous acts. The red A and her daughter, Pearl, are symbols of Hester’s shame which she bares proudly despite society's harsh judgements. Hawthorne is able to use symbolism to develop themes, characters, and analogies in the Scarlet Letter.
The novel The Scarlet Letter uses a type of symbol thats meaning changes as the story unwinds and progresses. In the novel, Hester Prynne is obligated to wear an embroidered letter “A” as a punishment for committing the crime of adultery. The scarlet letters meaning changes from adultery, to able, and eventually to awe, throughout the course of the novel. As the news spread of the crime that Hester committed, the people of town weren’t hesitant to judge Hester for the sin against God and her husband.
Compare/Contrast Essay Chelsea Cain, a famous novelist once said, “I’ve always been more interested in what happens after the bad thing has happened-the fallout of the bad thing, when the people are already damaged. I’m less interested in seeing people when they’re fine and following their journey to becoming damaged” (Brainy Quotes). People can never see the good in people they see the one mistake they have made. Hester, and the woman form the barrio make one mistake and the rest of their life are judged by it. Nathaniel Hawthorne author of The Scarlet Letter, and Estela Trambley, author of “The Burning” are both similar stories by using the comparison of the townspeople, being unexpected by the church and finally seeking happiness by the
Society had now begun to think that Hester had served her punishment. Although Hester was not accepted society before, she began to see the positive aspects of the community and was able continue on with her own life which eventually led to her being recognition of good character. Eventually recognizing her sin she had become a symbol of the Puritan faith, and eventually found her place in the community in a positive way. In The Scarlet Letter, the whole period of time the letter "A" was embroidered on her clothing it only represented one ideology, which was adultery. However, as time continues forward the community begins to finally start accepting her again, through her positive actions and influences, the letter "A" starts to represent a more positive ideology.
Hawthorne uses symbolism throughout the Scarlet letter to display the sin and indecency people see Hester as. The detail represents ,the deep beauty Hester has inside although most people do not see her as a beutiful women. The deep red is a representation of adultery which shows her being an oncast from society. The symbol of the letter “A” is repetitive throughout the novel and grows with Hester and overcomes this with time as people start to see her as a person again and not just a adulterer. Hester acknowledges her sin in her puritan faith but swears to secrecy on the father of Pearl.
The scarlet letter represents sin, and, in Hester’s case, adultery. The scarlet letter also represents other meanings in the novel. The scarlet letter symbolizes adultery, able, and alone to show the importance of honesty. Throughout the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne reveals that the scarlet letter first stood for adultery. Even though the scarlet letter was supposed to be a punishment for having a child out of wedlock, Hester Prynne
Even though the Puritans may have designated the letter as a representation of sin, Hester’s renewed sense of pride does not want society to define the A for her. Rather Hester wants to define it herself and by doing so she develops responsibility and power over her own actions. Because Hester has the power to change who she is, she also has the power to change what the Scarlet Letter represents. By letting the letter be “embroidered with gold thread” readers are able to see how for Hester sin is not something to be fearful of; furthermore, it allows one to see how Hester has developed into an independent individual who accepts who she is and the situation she is presented with. Hester’s lover unfortunately
Hester's True Side In committing an act of adultery, Hester Prynne, the primary character in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, finds herself a victim of harsh judgement and ridicule by her Puritan community. She becomes isolated as a result of this scandalous behavior and becomes emotionally involved in a love triangle between her husband and her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, who is the town minister. As a result of her shameful history, the townspeople attempt to destroy and embarrass her by socially neglecting her and labeling her as an outcast and loner. Though the people of the community pursue several attempts to shame her, Hester Prynne's beauty, selflessness, and strength help her overcome this rejection from the townspeople and
In the beginning the scarlet letter represented adultery and shame, but then the A represented “able.” Hester Prynne showed people that greatness can come out of huge mistake. One bad chapter does not mean your story is over. Willingly, Hester wanted to pick herself up again and move on with her life and eventually people noticed that. They began to respect her and think of her as strong and commendable
Hawthorne described, “...the scarlet letter, was so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom. ”(Hawthorne 51). It symbolized sin because in a puritan society something so beautiful is sinful. It shined like a sin that everyone came to see. While Hester was coming up the scaffold for her public punishment of adultery, the beadle said to her, “Come along,Madam Hester, and show your scarlet letter to the market place.”
There are various examples of symbolism in The Scarlet Letter, but one of them wraps the whole story together: the meaning of the scarlet letter A. In this passage, Hester Prynne wears an embroidered letter A on her bosom as punishment. At first the A stood for “adulterer”, but the townspeople later gained respect for her and said “Such helpfulness was found in her-so much power to do and to sympathize-that many people refused to interpret the scarlet “A” by its original significance. They said it meant ‘Able’” (Hawthorne 107).
Receiving the scarlet letter changed every aspect of Hester’s life. Especially at the start of the story, the letter symbolized the solitude and great suffering Hester faced just because of a letter placed on her bosom. The “A” also depicted how no one viewed Hester the same way as before her peccant actions. “…she saw that, owing to the peculiar effect of this convex mirror, the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance” (Hawthorne 109). The pejorative community Hester lived in never saw Hester as the beautiful, young woman she was, but now, as a horrible fiend.
The meaning of the scarlet letter and the way people view Hester changes throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The scarlet letter was originally suppose to represent adultery and was there to show everyone the sin Hester Prynne had committed. Hester had to