Essay on The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Essay on The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Pranav Damera
Mr. Mackechnie
English Period 6
9 May 2015
“A” in the Scarlet Letter
According to Webster Dictionary, adultery is sex between a married person and someone who is not that person 's wife or husband. Even though this is still considered immoral nowadays, it is not dealt with as harshly by countries today as the Puritans. The scarlet letter “A” in the Scarlet Letter has many different meanings throughout the book. The “A” serves as a symbol throughout and helps show the suffering and strength of Hester Prynne as a character. The letter depicts society and the mindset of the time period of the Puritans. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, The Scarlet Letter, the letter “A” represents sin, hypocrisy, and strength throughout the novel.
Hester Prynne was forced to wear the scarlet letter “A” because she committed an act of adultery, a sin in the Puritan era. She was required to wear the letter for the rest of her life. The letter symbolizes Hester’s sin and the Puritan society’s disapproval of her actions. Referring to the scarlet letter on Hester Prynne while she is standing in the marketplace, the narrator states “ It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and enclosing her in a sphere by herself” (Hawthorne 51). Society in that time period disapproved of Hester. Hester is regarded as a sin, and as a result of that, she is cast off, away from society.
“ But now, with this lonely walk from the prison door, her new reality began. This would be her everyday life, and she could use only everyday resources to endure it, or else she would be crushed by it. Tomorrow would bring its own struggle, and the next day, and the day after that—every day its own struggle, just like...


... middle of paper ...


...erald 192). Gatsby had to go against the tide in an attempt to get Daisy. Hester had to go against the tide of society due to the expectations of the strict Puritan theocracy. She stayed strong and steadfast and she doesn’t let her scandal drag her down and get in the way of her daily life. She carries the baggage, but doesn’t let it consume her.
In conclusion, the scarlet “A” has several different meanings depending on the context of the situation. Puritan society was very critical of Hester and labeled her with the mark of shame, the letter “A” for adultery. This revealed the hypocritical nature of Puritan society, sin, and eventually, strength. Overall, the scarlet letter made Hester a stronger and better person by the end of the novel. Lessons can be learned from the letter including “Heed your own advice” and “Face adversity with your head held high”.

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