The scarlet letter

Essay by snoppyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2004

download word file, 5 pages 4.3

The Scarlet "A"

In the novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hawthorne shows the reader the different meaning of the scarlet "A" from the different points of views which are symbolized by the characters and by the changing meaning of the scarlet letter. Each character plays a different role towards the meaning or symbolism of the scarlet letter. The characters also have meaning behind their names, such as Hester, Arthur Dimmesdale, and especially Pearl. The meaning of the scarlet letter starts out in the beginning of the novel as punishment for the adulterous sin that she had committed and by the end of the novel the meaning had totally change.

The name Hester has a history of meanings, one of which occurs during the ancient Greek's belief of gods and goddesses, "Hester recalls Hestia, the Greek goddess of the hearth and home [...]"(Pennell). Another instant where the name Hestia is used is in the Bible, "[...]

Esther of the Old Testament, a woman who intercedes for her people and is often considered on imagine of inner strength coupled with beauty"(Pennell). This also shows the strength of Hester and how she takes care of Pearl and hides Dimmesdale from the crowd and from their daughter. Hester regrets her sin, but somehow it seem as if she has many reasons for what she did. One of Hester's reasons is because of way Chiligsworth treats her. Chiligsworth was so much into studies and medicines that he forgot about showing Hester love and compassion. Not only had he forgotten about her, but he had also been with Native Americans for a long time.

The young Dimmesdale is trying to be an excellent and influential minister, which he is during most of the novel. Hawthorne gives him the name Arthur which gives him...