The Scarlet Letter Symbolism

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The Symbolism of the Scarlet “A” in The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne gives a symbolic meaning to the scarlet “A” in The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne’s main character, Hester, wears the scarlet “A”, because the citizens of Boston, Massachusetts find out she is pregnant from a man that is not her husband. The citizens know the baby is not from her husband, because her husband has been at sea for several months, and in the meantime she has gotten pregnant. Hawthorne changes the meaning of the scarlet “A” throughout the novel. Although some people might think the scarlet “A” only stands for adulterer, it stands for both adulterer and able.
In the first few chapters, the scarlet “A” only stands for adulterer. The scarlet “A” creates torture
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Hester is full of strength and hard work “As Hester Prynne builds a new life, her hard work and charity end up altering the letter’s meaning.” Hester is the person who changes the meaning of the letter. She does not let the letter “A” define her as something she is not. Hester ends up being a very helpful person in The Scarlet Letter and Hawthorne tells us that “The letter was a symbol of her calling. 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 significance” (146). People later realize that Hester has changed and become a wonderful woman who loves to help. The citizens do not even recognize the letter as its old significance, which is adulterer. Even the people who do not know Hester think that the letter on her breast symbolizes importance. In the article, Symbols: The Scarlet Letter, “...the Native Americans who come to watch the Election day pageant thank it marks her as a person of importance and status” (Sparknotes). The Native Americans who did not know Hester thought she was of great status because of her hard working abilities and the letter on her chest. The scarlet “A” dramatically shifts from a meaning of bad to a meaning of
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