The Unambiguous Letter A In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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The Unambiguous Letter A Throughout the Scarlet Letter there are several different ways that the A is seen by the community. In Puritan society the letter A was quite plainly defined as adulterer. Hester’s attitude about the A is what gives it so many different meanings. After working with the Sisters of Mercy group, the puritan people begin to see the A standing for more than adultery, but her ability to help others. The night that Governor Winthrop died and Dimmesdale stood upon the scaffold, it was said that a faint A could be seen lighting the sky. Finally, as Hester lives out her final days in her cottage so many women look to her for advisory help. Starting on the scaffold so many years ago, stood a woman clutching a baby close to her with a bright letter distinctly upon her breast. Hester withstood this punishment as well as her scarlet A, she was grateful they had not put her to death. The scarlet letter representing her sin and the evil within, she raised her child to be a free thinking spirit. As men decided if she should keep her child, she pleaded that her daughter was a living reminder of her sin and a constant punishment. Meanwhile her companion of sin, Dimmesdale, was keeping quiet with a secret all his own. He did not find public penitence due to his cowardliness but he soon…show more content…
Being alone with Pearl all the time led Hester to begin finding work for herself. There was little work to find because she was to be married and keeping the house, so she found jobs in embroidery, a subject of which she was very passionate. Seeing that she had only a small family, she set off to join the Sisters of Mercy who helped those sick or dying. People of the community began seeing the A as less an omen of adultery and more an emblem of her abilities to help those with less. Hawthorne most likely chooses the A to symbolize something more than adultery, and a way to show not all sins will last for
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