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The Scarlet Letter

Uploaded by Admin on Nov 16, 2000

Nathaniel Hawthorne"s, The Scarlet Letter is a book about a woman, Hester, who moves to Boston from England during the Puritan times. She has a husband, and tells the colonists of Boston he will be arriving to be with her soon. After years go by and he doesn"t arrive, Hester finds another man whom she becomes close to. She becomes pregnant and the town finds out she has committed adultery. She is forced to wear a letter "A," meaning "adulteress," on her bosom for the rest of her life. The book focuses mainly on the sin that was committed because it effected the whole community. The scarlet letter had one basic meaning, "adultery," but to the characters of Hester and Dimmesdale it was a constant reminder of the sin; and to Pearl it was a symbol of curiosity.

Obviously, the scarlet letter had the largest impact on Hester, it was a constant reminder of the sin she committed. The "A" she must wear on her bosom completely humiliates her in front of everyone she meets, she begins to even hide behind it, trying to conceal her identity. Hawthorne is referring to Hester in the quote, "The unhappy culprit sustained herself as best a woman might, under the heavy weight of a thousand unrelenting eyes, all fastened upon her and concentrated on her bosom" (55). So many people are staring at her as if she"s the most unfaithful, awful person in the world. She knows that she will never regain the respect she had before this incident. The scarlet letter she wears will constantly remind her and the townspeople that she is a sinner. While at Governor Bellingham"s mansion, Hester can"t help but notice while looking into the shining armor how much the "A" stands out. The "A" is seen "in exaggeration and gigantic proportions, so as to be the most prominent feature of her appearance. In truth, she seemed absolutely hidden behind it" (102). Right then and there, she realizes how much the "A" has become a part of her. She believes if the "A" becomes magnified in her reflection, the people who look at her must only notice the scarlet letter. She sees herself as if her true appearance is being hidden behind the “A” and she feels that no one looks at her anymore, just the letter. The scarlet letter has ruined her reputation, as well as her appearance....

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   11/16/2000

Category:   The Scarlet Letter

Length:   7 pages (1,582 words)

Views:   1166

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