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The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne, Is About A Young

609 words - 2 pages

The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is about a young woman in 17th-century America who has sexual relations outside of marriage. For this sin that Hester has committed, she is sentenced to wear an "A" on her clothing. In the beginning, the "A" means "Adulteress", but it later comes to mean "Able".Throughout the book other meanings of the letter "A" are given, but the original is "Adulteress". Adulteress means voluntary sexual intercourse between a married woman and someone other than her husband. The letter "A" has a negative effect on her both physically and emotionally. One negative effect of the Scarlet letter is that Hester gets emotionally depressed and contemplates suicide. She feels this way because the entire town symbolizes her as the sin of the town. The negative effect on her physically is that instead of letting her beautiful hair show she hides it behind a cap. Hester's personality goes from being charming and passionate to severity and drabness due to a negative effect of the "A". Hester's sin during this time in history is not common or accepted by society. She is punished and is made an example for all people to see. Her punishment is having to wear "…that SCARLET LETTER, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom. It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and enclosing her in a sphere by herself"(51).The red and the gold letter is intended to be a symbol of shame, but it becomes a symbol of Hester's defiant identity. The Judge ordered Hester to wear the "A" as shame, but she wears it as a term of defiance. Hester seems to be proud of the letter instead of being ashamed of it "… in...

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