Letter: Symbolism And Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

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“A” A symbol relies on imagery to capture influential ideas. Symbols have the ability to captivate a population, negatively or positively, reflecting a community’s ideals and attitude towards the representation. When the scarlet letter is first laid upon Hester’s bosom, it has an extremely negative connotation within her community, which is intended to represent her sin. As the plot progresses, the circumstances and the community in which the novel takes place evolves and the societal attitudes change. With the community’s development, the meaning of the embroidered letter changes to reflect society’s different expectations and values. This evolution demonstrates how the power of the symbol is largely dependent on people’s perception of the token and what they believe its meaning is. The transformation of the Puritan community’s viewpoint during the story reveals the flaws and fragility of Puritanism. Given the religion’s foundation stemming from their disapproval of change in their church in Europe, this is particularly ironic. Hawthorne uses the tri-stage meaning of the scarlet letter as a means to demonstrate the…show more content…
Over the years, Hester’s burden of the scarlet letter morphs into a symbol showing her ability to contribute to the community and accomplish positive feats. This happens with the passage of time as the community begins to forget the original transgression that caused Hester to be marked with the “A”. The townspeople begin to associate the symbol with Hester’s positive actions and abilities within the community. "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 significance”(141). Hester does not achieve this recognition easily, “In this manner, Hester Prynne came to have a part to perform in the world. With her native energy of character and rare capacity, it could not entirely cast her
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