The Symbol Of Shame In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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The scarlet letter is originally a symbol of shame. Instead the scarlet letter becomes a symbol of identity to Hester. The letter’s meaning shifts as time goes on. Originally it marked Hester as an adulterer. The letter “A” eventually comes to stand for “Able.” Native Americans who come to watch the Election Day pageant believe it marks Hester as a person of importance. Pearl is a reminder of Hester’s affair with Dimmesdale, and so the letter functions as a reminder as well. Compared with a human child, the letter is unimportant, and helps to point out the incoherence of the community’s system of punishment. The child has been sent from God, while the letter is just a human action. After Hester is shamed in public and forced to wear a badge

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