Consequences in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Have you ever done something wrong? Did you regret it? There comes a time in every person’s life where they have to face consequences for things they have done. Throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter, the author Nathaniel Hawthorne illustrated the protagonist, Hester Prynne to be in a similar situation. Hester’s husband was pronounced “dead” after not coming back home from a trip and she had an affair with a mystery man. As a result of this affair, Hester got pregnant. Living in a Puritan community, she was punished for adultery and spent time in prison. When she was released, everyone saw her with her baby girl, Pearl, and a large red letter “A” sewn onto her clothing. She has to stand on the scaffold with her child as a crowd of townspeople watched and criticized her for everything she has done. Hester struggles with living in a Puritan community after committing adultery. She embroidered her “A” with red and gold stitching to make it look beautiful. Everyone treats her differently, and they all turn a blind eye. She also walks around with her child Pearl, who they would call the “walking scarlet letter”. As the novel progresses, Hester becomes more outgoing and does not care for what the townspeople think of her and her child. She wears the “A” proudly on her chest, and the people around her community start noticing her. Hester is a seamstress, and everyone enjoys her work. At this point, the “A” means “angel or able” instead of adultery. She has already faced her mistake and did her consequence. She encourages Dimmesdale to confess his secret so that they could be one family. Dimmesdale is afraid of what people would say and wants to keep them a secret.
Many people change throughout their lives. Some change for the better, but some also change for the worse. Hester was a very remorseful person at the beginning of the novel and she was very careless after the adulterous affair. But towards the end, she comes out as a much more kind-hearted and helpful woman. That is why the letter A changes from adulterous to angel. Hesters goes through a lot, but she is still a very strong person on both the inside and the outside. Her appearance to the townspeople, while she was on the scaffold Hawthorne, describes Hester as “dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam.” Her appearance also altered because she began to wear a cap to cover her luscious hair. She also The townspeople had believed that her beauty had gotten the best of her. Pearl was a good influence on Hester when her personality changed from sour to sweet.