The Scarlet Letter

The True Meanings of the Scarlet Letter
Adultery has been around just about as long as mankind itself. Adultery has always come with a harsh punishment, at one point in time that punishment may have meant death. However in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book The Scarlet Letter, which takes place in Puritan times, they may have come up with the worst punishment of all. Hester Prynne is a Puritan woman whose husband has been out of the country for quite some time, she is getting lonely and commits the crime of adultery with a preacher and has a baby girl. She is forced to wear a Large “A” on her bosom. The puritans cannot put her to death because her husband is missing and may or may not be alive. To Pearl and many of the townspeople the meaning of the letter changes throughout the book. There are also many other symbolic objects and places in this book.
The Scarlet letter is meant to be a symbol that Hester must wear to shame herself, but instead it becomes a powerful symbol for Hester and the meaning is changed. The letters meaning shifts around as time passes by. The original meaning to put a stamp on Hester as a woman guilty of the crime Adultery, however the “A” eventually stands for the word “Able.” And Lastly the word becomes undefined as the Native Americans come to watch the Election Day pageant, they all think it marks her to be an important person of a high status. In comparison to Pearl, Hester’s daughter, the letter is a reminder for all to see of her crime of adultery committed with Dimmesdale.
Once they hear of Hester’s Crime and its circumstances they realize she cannot be put to death because her husband is missing. They immediately decide that the appropriate punishment for the time being is to send Hester to the Scaffold while holding Pearl in her arms. She is to stand there and not say a word as the whole town looks upon her and gossips about the “A” on her. The scaffold is used for town punishment and embarrassment. It is used to punish you with...