Things Aren 'T Always As They Appear In The Scarlet Letter'

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Yelitza Andrade Mr. Pyles English 11 Honors 23 September 2015 Things Aren’t Always As They Appear in The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter isn’t just about a woman dealing with the sin of adultery but a woman who faces many different hardships and obstacles to build her character. Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of The Scarlet Letter, wrote the novel during a time when religion was very strict, corrupt, and harsh. Hester, the main character of the novel, has a child named Pearl with another man that is not her husband. Hester has to stand on the scaffold for an hour and wear a scarlet letter a on her chest as her punishment. Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s long lost husband, finds Hester standing on the scaffold being punished by the Puritans…show more content…
The townspeople believed, as described by Hawthorne, “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” (Hawthorne 123). When saying this, Hawthorne shows us how the townspeople later had a different image of Hester. The scarlet letter a no longer stood for adultery or showed her mistake but showed her strength, loyalty, and kindness. It showed how Hester, despite her sin, was a good woman who helped others and raised Pearl without the help of anyone else. She was also very loyal to Dimmesdale to keep him and his reputation safe. The scarlet letter overall taught Hester about humility, kindness, independence, forgiveness, and over all, life. The people realized that Hester all along was human, just like everyone else. Hawthorne, with this symbol, tried to explain that people make mistakes and that they should not be judged for…show more content…
Hawthorne is trying to also explain and show us that the weeds symbolize the Puritan people that judged Hester and made her feel like an outcast when she did nothing but good for them. Hawthorne also talks about the prison in the quote and is also evidence of a corrupt society. It is evidence that more people in the novel are being punished and judged because of sins that everyone makes than being forgiven. The Puritan society believe that they are perfect and that they don’t sin but they are all still sinners and they are still going to be the same as everyone else. The weeds also represent the secrets of the society that do much harm to innocent people but refuse to tell the truth because of what others think. When picking weeds Chillingworth says to Dimmesdale, “It seems that they had taken it upon themselves to keep his memory” and “Perhaps they reflect some hideous secret buried with him. He would have been better off had he confessed during his lifetime” to create a greater felling of guilt in Dimmesdale (Hawthorne 100). Chillingworth proves that weeds symbolize the guilt and secrets that people

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