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Word Count: 678
In Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter the letter A changes its meaning many different times This change is significant It shows growth in the characters and the community in which they live The letter A begins as a symbol of sin It then becomes a symbol of her ability to do and help things and finally it becomes a The letter A worn on Hesters bodice is a symbol of her adultery against Roger Chillingworth This letter is meant to be worn in shame and to make Hester feel unwanted Here she said to herself had been the scene of her guilt and here should be the scene of her earthly punishment 84 Hester is ashamed of her sin but she chooses not to show it She committed this sin in the heat of passion and fully admits it because though she is ashamed she also received her greatest treasure Pearl out of it She is a very strong woman to be able to hold up so well against what she must face Many would have fled Boston and sought a place where no one knew of her great sin Hester chose to stay though which showed a lot of strength and integrity Any woman with enough nerve to hold up against a town which despised her very existence and to stay in a place where her daughter is referred to as a devil child either has some sort of psychological problem or is a very tough woman The second meaning that the letter A took was able The townspeople who once condemned her now believed her scarlet A to stand for her ability to create her beautiful needlework and for her unselfish assistance to the poor and sick The letter was the symbol of her calling Such helpfulness was found in her- so much power to do and power to sympathize- that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by
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