Scarlet Letter Symbolism

773 WordsOct 31, 20174 Pages
The Scarlet Letter is a book about the suspense, love, guilt, and the pain of letting your emotions get the best of you. In one incident, Hester Prynne, a member of the Puritan society. Committed one of the most deadly sins, adultery, and was punished to wear the scarlet letter. The Scarlet Letter itself symbolizes isolation, sin, punishment and guilt. After being forced to confess her sin in front of the town Hester and her daughter, Pearl were banished to the outskirts of town, “On the outskirts of the town, within the verge of the peninsula, but not in close vicinity to any other habitation, there was a thatched cottage.” (Hawthorne 121). Hester and Pearl began to live their life in isolation, away from the rest of the townspeople.…show more content…
A letter—the letter A—but freshly green instead of scarlet” (Hawthorne 266) Hester took her punishment with her head held high.”She stepped into the open air, as if by her own free will.” (Hawthorne 49) She was given the red “A” in hopes it would make her feel like a lesser person, hoping she would coward down to the rest of the townspeople, but Hester did the opposite. Instead she outlined the “A” unfold tread, “...in fine, red cloth surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold-thread appeared the letter A.” (Hawthorne pg#). Although to others Hester took the punishment well, but deep down Hester was filled with self doubt and lacking the confidence she once had, “‘Dost thou know, child, wherefore thy mother wears this letter?’ ‘Truly do I!’ answered Pearl, looking brightly into her mother’s face. ‘It is for the same reason that the minister keeps his hand over his heart!’ ‘And what reason is that?’ asked Hester, half smiling at the absurd incongruity of the child’s observation; but on second thoughts turning pale. “ (Hawthorne 267). She felt guilty that she couldn't be the best mother possible for Pearl, even though she was. Her guilt would take over from time to time and self doubt about her mothering would come into play once in awhile “Where a pearl costs everything a person has, but is
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