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 assorted contrasting views of the A seen by the community. In Puritan society, the letter A was quite plainly defined as an adulterer. Hester’s outlook about the A is what gives it numerous meanings. After working with the Sisters of Mercy group, the Puritan people begin to distinguish the A as her ability to help others. The night that Governor Winthrop died and Dimmesdale stood upon the scaffold, it was said that a vague 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…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. The 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 chose the A to symbolize something more than adultery, and a way to show not all sins will last for eternity. As Hester began to work within the Sisters of Mercy she accomplished more and more all the time. The night in which the A was seen in the sky, Hester could be found next to Governor Winthrop, a man quite near to his death. Her lover, still unknown to society, could be seen upon the scaffold hopeful that he might seek his public penitence in the dark of night. Hawthorne chooses this moment to place another meaning of the dread scarlet letter, however, this time giving it a divine quality. He shows that the A created by the meteor could symbolize her angelic qualities rather than always shifting it to

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