We are all sinners. Although one may try hard not to sin, all humans eventually succumb at some time or another to sin. While people may not able to avoid the fate which awaits them, the power of free will allows people to decide how they will respond to sin. While some may respond with guilt and regret, others may react with a sense of redemption and a renewed sense of responsibility.
The Scarlet Letter, a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, contains the motif of a red letter “A” that brings the story to life. The scarlet letter is an embroidered symbol which incorporates power in the novel. The scarlet letter upon Hester's bosom evolved and developed from something negative to something positive; from Hester, the villagers, Pearl, and Hawthorne, the views of the scarlet letter changed drastically.
Scarlet “A” In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter there is no other vigorous personality like Hester Prynne. Hester was made out to be a shameful person who would never be pardoned of her sin. Hester is an empty puritan woman who commits adultery with a minister and has a daughter from her deceitful union. She goes through wearying passage from sin to salvation, but always seem to find her identity.
Often times, we interpret a novel at its face value, only reading the text on the page instead of really delving into the true meaning behind that text. Since that meaning is not explicitly stated, different readers can develop different interpretations of the same text. This idea of repeated hidden meanings throughout a novel is classified as a motif, and most of the time motifs are used in order to subtly convey ideas to the reader through seemingly plain text. In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses motifs and symbols to convey subtle ideas, one example being his harsh criticism of Puritan culture. One of the most prominent motifs in his novel is the Black Man, an imaginary being who Hawthorne equates to the devil. Hawthorne employs
This essay will discuss how the symbol “A” or the Scarlet Letter is represented in three different interpretations in the novel. In the novel The Scarlet Letter the letter “A” was originally intended to be a punishment for the main character Hester Prynne. She committed adultery as was branded with the “A” as public humiliation. Although she was branded as an adulteress, she continued to help others.
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester transforms into a stronger, more confident woman through the experiences she encounters because of the scarlet letter she wears. At the beginning of the novel when Hester is ordered to wear the scarlet letter, she suffers from feelings of hopelessness and despair; feelings that trigger the thought of suicide as an option to end her suffering. While newly wearing the letter, Hester feels as though it is only a burden; however, that changes as the letter soon reveals to be a gift in disguise. The scarlet letter allows Hester to sense the guilt of those who appear to be the purest and sinless, showing her the true hypocrisy of her society. By eventually learning of the hypocrisy of her society, Hester realizes that her fellow men and women should not have the power to ruin her life.
Hester’s character is formed and shown as she goes through great ignominy from wearing the scarlet letter A to having her the reminder of her sin by her side. Hester has promised both of these men not to share their secrets with the world and throughout the novel she stays true. Since she keeps the identity of her
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.
What is justice to you? Well justice is different for everyone because we have all had different life experiences. In the scarlet letter, by nathaniel hawthorne, a woman named hester prim is punished for having a chilled out for welock. As her punishment she is forced to wear a scarlet A upon her clothing, with this mark she will become out cast and ridiculed by the town. Hester accepts the letter at first because it is the regulated punishment decided by the society and what they see as a just punishment. But then as the story progress she realizes that the same duration of the punishment isn 't always the best for the situation. But then by the end of the story she comes to the realization that the punishment doesn 't define her.
In this novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the symbolic significance of the Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth to contribute to the theme of guilt. To begin, Hawthorne uses the Scarlet Letter to portray the theme of guilt. In this scene Hester Prynne is walking onto the scaffold for the punishment of the sin she has committed. The women in the crowd are talking about how Hester deserves a worse punishment. The Scarlet Letter is the A on Hester’s bosom to tell the public she is an adulterer, bringing her judgement and guilt everyday.
The scarlet letter ‘A’ did not stand for “adultery” anymore. It stood for “able.” “The letter was the 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 signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength.”
Adultery, Able, Angel. The Scarlet Letter is about a woman who can take a symbol that means one thing and changes it to mean the complete opposite. In this novel a woman named Hester Prynne had committed a sin of adultery and is forced to wear the letter “A” on her chest in remembrance of her sin. The story takes place in the mid 17th century in a Puritan town of Boston. The rest of the story is based upon trying to find out who the father of Hester 's baby is.
they would say to strangers. ‘It is our Hester, the town’s own Hester, who is so kind to the poor, so helpful to the sick…”(147) Through her benevolent deeds over the years, Hester had managed to merge herself into the society that once scorned her. They no longer speaks badly of her, but would instead brag about her kind and caring nature to strangers. The most obvious change in their perception of Hester also lies in the reinterpretation of the letter “A” on her chest, which would now signify Able, resembling the strength of her heart.
The Role Faces Play in Society Throughout human nature, people do not tell strangers as many details about themselves as they would a family member. Nathaniel Hawthorne examines these faces throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter. People that wear two faces will cause immense guilt for themself and negative consequences to others. Hawthorne conveys through Dimmesdale that the effects of having two masks leads to immense guilt.
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).