Hester Prynne's The Scarlet Letter

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Hester Prynne evolves constantly throughout the story. This is symbolized by her scarlet letter as she is able to become a better person even though she was ostracized from Puritan society due to her sin. The scarlet letter symbolizes her change as a character throughout the novel as it stands for different meanings throughout the novel. In the beginning of the novel, Hester is seen as an adulterous and a terrible person because of her sin which makes the scarlet letter, “A”, represent adultery, but, as she progresses as a person, the scarlet letter begins to stand for “Able”, and, at the final pages of Hester’s life, the scarlet letter represents “Angel”. In the beginning of the novel, people generally see Hester as a sinful and a monstrous…show more content…
Puritans in the town begin to state that the “A” represents “able” instead of adultery. This symbolism is important because it shows how far Hester has come as a character as the people in the town are starting to respect her again for her weaving abilities which are useful for the town, and her good deeds for the poor and needy. This is a significant change in social status for Hester as she is now able to traverse the town, and not have as many problems as she would have had in the past as she regularly delivers clothing for the people. This respect leads to magistrates taking notice as Roger Chillingworth states, “ No longer than yesterday, a magistrate, a wise and godly man, was discoursing of your affairs, mistress Hester, and whispered me that there had been question concerning you in the council. It was debated whether or no, with safe to the common weal, yonder scarlet letter might be taken off your bosom”(Hawthorne 150). This quote causes a negative response from Hester as she does not wish to take the scarlet letter off because she believes it is a symbol of her forming her own identity without the help of anybody. She believes that her past sin is a part of who she is. Taking it off would make it feel like it never happened which means she would be denying a part of herself and her
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