The Affects of the Scarlet Letter

Essay by CassidyBarnesHigh School, 11th gradeA+, October 2012

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Barnes � PAGE �2�

Cassidy Barnes

Carrie Huskins

English III

September 13, 2012

The Affects of A...

When a child learns their ABC's, they never imagines that a tiny letter could affect their lives so drastically. The scarlet "A" Hester Prynne wears on her chest affects many different people throughout the book The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It has a major effect on Hester, of course; she is the most altered from beginning to end. The letter also has an impact on Pearl's life, as well as Arthur Dimmesdale. This single letter changes lives wherever it is worn, and many of the effects are permanent.

The person most affected by the letter is clearly Hester. While reading, it is seldom to find her without it on. In the first scene, as she is leaving the jail, her beauty is clearly evident, much like that of the embroidered letter.

Throughout the entire book she shows her kind, gentle spirit, but as the book progresses and it becomes closer to the end, it is noted that there is a change in her physical appearance and her state of being. The letter has changed her appearance. Her once beautiful dark hair is now lusterless and concealed from the world. "It was a sad transformation, too, that her rich and luxuriant hair had either been cut off, or was so completely hidden by a cap, that not a shining lock of it ever once gushed into the sunshine" (Hawthorne, 158). Her femininity was robbed from her. The stern attitude that coping with life long harassment demands, crushed her tender spirit. All the passion had left from her life. She was no longer identified as the beautiful woman she once was, and not just because of the adulterous act she had committed.