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Word Count: 268
The perception of Hesters A has changed throughout the novel In the beginning the scarlet letteron her chest was a symbol of her sin It was intended to be part of her punishment by providing herwith humiliation much like on the scaffolding scene In about the middle of the novel the meaningAs mentioned earlier in the novel Hester spends her spare time helping those lessfortunate than her She was a self-ordained sister of MercyHawthorne 148 The scarlet letter onher chest was no longer a symbol of her sin but rather a symbol of her calling Hawthorne 148The letter gave comfort to those who were sick it had shined on those who were suffering and thebreast that held the badge of shame was but the softer pillow for the head that needed oneHawthorne 148 The people considered it more appropriate for the A to stand for AbleEven though the scarlet letter was originally intended for punishment the people didnt seeit as that anymore They grew to look at it as a token of all her good deeds and not as a mark ofher sin The scarlet letter was compared to a cross around the neck of a nun It gave Hester anaura of sacredness which enabled her to walk securely amid all people Hawthorne 149The scarlet letter had a purpose for Hester Its purpose was part of her punishment but aspeople changed their view of Hester and of the letter she felt the scarlet letter had not done its
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