Theme Of Shame In The Scarlet Letter

740 Words3 Pages
From Shame to Strength: The Scarlet Letter’s Various Meanings Can one’s own sin make them a stronger person? In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne commits adultery with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, while being married to Roger Chillingworth, and is forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” as punishment. The “A” causes the public to shun Hester because of her sin, while Dimmesdale remains an icon. The scarlet letter that Hester wears is supposed to represent adultery so the town recognizes her sin and affiliates her with shame. Throughout the novel, the Scarlet letter bequeaths new meanings. The scarlet letter starts off as a way to symbolize adultery, then it turns to symbolize angel during Dimmesdale’s vigil, and finally it symbolizes able as Hester develops into a strong woman because of her sin. The original meaning of the scarlet letter is adultery. Hester Prynne had an affair with Reverend Dimmesdale, and her punishment because of her sin is to wear a scarlet letter “A”. Along with the meaning of adultery, the scarlet symbolizes shame. This is exhibited in the following quote which a young…show more content…
Also, just like how the symbolism of adultery is accompanied by shame, the symbolism of able is accompanied by strength. Hester Prynne’s scarlet letter is intended to be a device to bring shame and humiliation into her life because of her sin. Originally made to represent adultery, the scarlet letter adopts other meanings. The scarlet letter starts off to symbolize adultery and shame, then it transforms to represent angel, and finally it adapts to symbolize able and strength. Like the scarlet letter, Hester transforms as well. Hester starts off being shunned by society because of her sin, but she then becomes accepted and respected by society as time goes on. Hester is definitely one of the strongest female characters in American

More about Theme Of Shame In The Scarlet Letter

Open Document