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The Affects Of The Scarlet Letter

1095 words - 4 pages

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Cassidy BarnesCarrie HuskinsEnglish IIISeptember 13, 2012The Affects of A...When a child learns their ABC's, they never imagines that a tiny letter could affect their lives so drastically. The scarlet "A" Hester Prynne wears on her chest affects many different people throughout the book The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It has a major effect on Hester, of course; she is the most altered from beginning to end. The letter also has an impact on Pearl's life, as well as Arthur Dimmesdale. This single letter changes lives wherever it is worn, and many of the effects are permanent.The person most affected by the letter is clearly Hester. While reading, it is seldom to find her without it on. In the first scene, as she is leaving the jail, her beauty is clearly evident, much like that of the embroidered letter. Throughout the entire book she shows her kind, gentle spirit, but as the book progresses and it becomes closer to the end, it is noted that there is a change in her physical appearance and her state of being. The letter has changed her appearance. Her once beautiful dark hair is now lusterless and concealed from the world. "It was a sad transformation, too, that her rich and luxuriant hair had either been cut off, or was so completely hidden by a cap, that not a shining lock of it ever once gushed into the sunshine" (Hawthorne, 158). Her femininity was robbed from her. The stern attitude that coping with life long harassment demands, crushed her tender spirit. All the passion had left from her life. She was no longer identified as the beautiful woman she once was, and not just because of the adulterous act she had committed. She dressed with a stern and strict nature, and her manners lacked. There seemed to the eyes of many that changes had happened to physically change her since her day on the platform....but still more to something else, that there seemed to be no longer any thing in Hester's face for Love to dwell upon; nothing in Hester's form, though majestic and statue-like, that Passion would ever dream of clasping in its embrace; nothing in Hester's bosom, to make it ever again the pillow of Affection. Some attribute had departed from her, the permanence of which had been essential to keep her a woman (158).Hester was hardened after years of stares and harassment. Her womanly features once called beautiful had been stripped from her. She was indifferent to all the once daily routines to make herself more presentable. The symbol on her chest had changed her. It also had a strange effect on her mind. Her exuberant light and sophistication had been stolen by the treacherous letter, leaving her rigid.Another major character also affected by the crimson letter is Pearl. From the moment Pearl is born she is already an outcast. She is born in sin and, thus, is sin. Instead of being a "normal" child, she does quite a few activities considered abnormal. She has no desire to play with the other children in Boston, and even...

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