The Scarlet Letter: The Symbol Of The Scarlet Letter

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne's scarlet
token liberates her more than it punishes her. First of all, Hester's soul is
freed by her admission of her crime; by enduring her earthly punishment, Hester
is assured of a place in the heavens. Also, though her appearance is much
hampered by the scarlet letter, her mind is freed by it, that an intellectual
passion rises from her isolation and suffering. Finally, it defines her
identity, for the letter makes Hester the woman that she is; it gives her roots,
character, and a uniqueness to her being that sets her apart from the other
Puritans. The scarlet letter is indeed a blessing to Hester Prynne, more than
the ...

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a vivid scarlet, "so fantastically embroidered and illuminated
upon her bosom." Hester chose red as the color of her brand of shame, to
declare to the rest of the townspeople that she is prepared to acknowledge her
sin, instead of denying it; she could have chosen to wear her "A" in a plain and
nondistinct color, to escape the townspeople's disdain. By displaying her guilt
however, she is granted the opportunity to face her punishment bravely, thus
through her public humiliation, she achieves freedom from the personal guilt of
not suffering enough for her crimes. Furthermore, "the scarlet letter,
forthwith seemed to scorch into Hester's breast, as if it had been red-hot."
The scarlet A's glowing embers, scorching they may be, also serve to heal, for
the pain they inflict on Hester enables her to properly atone for her sin; by
devoting this lifetime to repentance and expiation, she would receive relief in
her next life. To the Puritans she is shamed, yet to the heavens she is ...

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outlet in the deep recesses of her own mind; Hester is
liberated by the scarlet letter since she discovers an intellectual passion as a
release from a dull and monotonous existence. Hester's physical appearance may
be one of "marble coldness", yet buried underneath those marble slabs her "newly
emancipated" intellect burns with great fervor. The pure yet hard marble
represents the Hester seen by the people; Solid and dependable, possessing a
serene yet pallid beauty. The vibrance that once dominated her features now
dominates her thoughts, her warm passion this time finding release in the
richness of her brilliant mind. "Hester [imbibes] the spirit" of intellectual
emancipation. ...

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The Scarlet Letter: The Symbol Of The Scarlet Letter. (2007, October 25). Retrieved September 27, 2021, from
"The Scarlet Letter: The Symbol Of The Scarlet Letter.", 25 Oct. 2007. Web. 27 Sep. 2021. <>
"The Scarlet Letter: The Symbol Of The Scarlet Letter." October 25, 2007. Accessed September 27, 2021.
"The Scarlet Letter: The Symbol Of The Scarlet Letter." October 25, 2007. Accessed September 27, 2021.
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Added: 10/25/2007 09:29:24 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1371
Pages: 5

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