Hester's Transformation In The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter: Hester’s Transformation Hester Prynne defies all Puritan beliefs when she has an affair with an unknown man, later revealed as Arthur Dimmesdale, the town’s priest. As a punishment, the letter “A” is placed on her breast and must remain there. Women and men alike look at Hester and see a woman “who had once been innocent—as the figure, the body, the reality of sin” (83). The scarlet letter bears an enormous weight that Hester must carry and is a constant reminder of her sin. Throughout the novel “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, protagonist Hester Prynne undergoes several changes that transform her into a more passionate, motherly, and contemplative woman than she ever was before. Once Hester’s confinement is over, she returns to the town and takes up residency in an abandoned, secluded cottage. She is free to go anywhere, yet she stays in town because “the chain that bound her here was of iron links” and the chain “could never…show more content…
She becomes passionate towards her needlework, as well as other means of activity, because it is her only means of income, since the scarlet letter has banished her into reclusion. As time passes in the novel and Pearl is born, Hester’s motherly instincts and maturity are depicted in the actions she takes to keep the Governor from taking her daughter. Her maternal instincts are also shown as Hester discreetly teaches her daughter about pride, instead of the shame of bearing the “A” (Brooks). Finally, Hester becomes a more thoughtful and contemplative woman. She at last is able to see the unknown guilt and misery in not only the commoners’ hearts, but also Dimmesdale’s. Hester is able to recognize and identify this same guilt in her own heart. As a result of the scarlet letter sewn upon her clothes, meant to induce shame and dishonor, Hester undergoes many internal transformations throughout the

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