How Does Hester Prynne Change Throughout The Scarlet Letter

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Alisa Key August 16, 2010 AP English 11 The Scarlet Letter The progression of Hester throughout The Scarlet Letter was dramatic and varied greatly. In the beginning of the book she was feeling ashamed, isolated, and shunned by the townspeople. To her, the “A” stood for more than adultery, it stood for “ashamed.” She was being imprisoned by the judgment of others; the lock was a simple scarlet letter. She was living while being haunted by her past. Even seeing her own daughter, Pearl, would sometimes bring up the emotion of her sin all over again. Near the end of the book her view of the letter changed. There was almost a sense of pride in it; or at least she could truly accept it as part of who she is. An example of this is seen in the following quote, “On the mind on Hester Prynne herself, was powerful and peculiar. All the light and graceful foliage of her character had been withered up by this red-hot brand and had long ago…show more content…
Pearl was an innocent and sweet little girl that did not choose her world of scorn. As a child she would play with the letter and stare at it. At first she was rejected by others due to a scarlet letter that was not even her own. She had nothing to do with the sin, but was living with the punishment. She was the one good thing that came out of Hester’s sinful act. Pearl loved her mother deeply and accepted everything about her; even the scarlet letter affixed on her bosom. She wanted to be just like her mother which came out one day while playing on the beach. “as the last touch to her mermaid’s garb, Pearl took some eel-grass, and imitated, as best she could, on her own bosom, the decoration with which she was so familiar on her mother’s. A letter – the letter A – but freshly green, instead of scarlet!”(pg. 212) It appears as though Pearl came to accept the scarlet letter as her own, even though she did not fully comprehend the significance of its
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