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Scarlet Letter

Essay by   •  November 1, 2010  •  700 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,356 Views

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For a person to be able to make a change in their life is a monumental task. To be able to make a change that can be life changing is a true test of a person's will and desire. In the novel the Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne changes from an adulteress that is despised by the community, to an able woman that the community depends on through her repentance of her sin, faith in transcendentalism, and her daughter Pearl.

Hester Prynne is cast out as an adulteress from the Puritan society, because she had a baby with another man than her husband. "She may cover it with a brooch, or such like heathenish adornment, and so walk the streets as brave as ever!"(Hawthorne 49). The city is shocked by Hester's embodiment of the scarlet letter on her chest; because the scarlet letter was suppose to represent her punishment for her sin. This was an insult to the community, and it shows how the community despised Hester's presence of an adulteress. "Madam Hester absolutely refuseth to speak, and the magistrates have laid their heads together in vain"(58). When Hester mounted the scaffold she refused to speak to the ministry, and she refused to tell them who the father of the baby was. By not telling the ministry who the father was Hester was being defiant and took the burden of the punishment on herself, this is another reason why the community despised Hester when she was considered an adulteress. Her strong will and silence lead the community to hate Hester, because she would not bend to the community and show weakness.

The change that Hester experiences occurs through the aid of her daughter Pearl, her strong belief in transcendentalism, and her repentance of her sin through aiding the community. "...that this brook is the boundary between two worlds"(119). Pearl crosses the brook to get away from Hester and Dimmesdale, after they have decided to go to Europe since it is better for his health. The brook and Pearl represent transcendentalism, while Dimmesdale represents the church, which shows how Hester has changed due to her belief in Transcendentalism. "I have no heavenly father!"(90). Pearl continually questions her mother about her father, and Hester tells her that she came from the heavenly father. By having Pearl, Hester is trying to raise her without having her make the same mistakes that she did, and in the transcendental belief, this is how Pearl is able to have a significant change on Hester.

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