Everyone at some point has done something that affects your image and character even way after it happened. This makes it easy to relate to the main character of the novel called The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne. The main character in this novel committed an act of Adultery and was given a letter A to wear to let everyone know what she had done.
This affects the way Hester character throughout the entire novel. From the beginning to the end her character and attitude toward the letter and its meaning changes. In the novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the letter A to show how Hester’s character changed based off how other characters viewed her as and how it affects Hester Prynne throughout the book. First at the beginning of the novel the Letter A affects Hester’s character in a negative way. Hester is very annoyed by the impact the letter has on her and the way people look at her because of it. She also feels that everyone is against her and her daughter Pearl.
For example at the beginning of the novel the community wants to take her daughter Pearl from her custody because they think Hester is a unfit parent because of her past sins that earned her the letter. . A quote shows that Hester is devastated by this and refuses to give Pearl, “God gave her into my keeping, I will not give her up!”(85) This also makes Hester’s mindset toward the letter negative because it is the reason she might lose her child. This makes her only see the negative effects from the letter and has yet to see how she can use the letter for good. At the beginning of the novel Hester only sees the bad things that come from the letter. In the middle of the novel Hester’s view of the Letter begins to change. Hester finally begins to realize that the letter isn’t all her fault but since Hester has the letter she has to carry all of their sins. These people includes Dimmesdale’s sin and Chillingworth’s sin.
For example in chapter 14 it shows that Hester is fed up with carrying this burden her entire life, “The Scarlet letter burned on Hester Prynne’s bosom. Here was another ruin, the responsibility of which came partly home with her.” (130) This says that only some of the sin should come with Hester and some of the sin is supposed to go with the other people which is Chillingworth and Dimmesdale. This makes her hate the sin a little less and she begins to hate Chillingworth a little more. This makes Hester’s attitude toward the letter a lot better. She also sees that she has learned many lessons from the letter. Lessons that she can spread and make sure other people don’t make that same mistakes she did. In the middle of the book Hester begins to realize that the letter does not bring all bad things to Hester and that the letter isn’t all her fault.
As the novel continues and begins to get to the end, Hester realizes that the letter is not all bad and that there is some good in it. Hester begins to help the poor and spread the wisdom that she has gathered throughout the process of getting the letter; “She was self-ordained a Sister of Mercy; or, what we may rather say, the world’s heavy hand had so ordained her, when neither the world nor she looked forward to this result. The letter was a symbol of her calling.” (117) Hester has now found a way to make the letter have a positive effect on her life and character instead of a way of public shaming given down from the church. Hester is still not happy she has to wear the red glowing letter on her chest everyday and rather wishes she could rip it off and never have to deal with is again, but shockingly Hester’s daughter Pearl likes the letter. Pearl actually thinks it looks good. For Pearl it isn’t a sign of shame but instead takes it as a symbol of love. This is how Hester’s character is affected at the end of the novel, The Scarlet Letter.
The letter in the novel, The Scarlet Letter changes the way Hester Prynne acts throughout the book. At the beginning she is only affected in a bad way, but as the book goes on she learns lessons and gains wisdom and ends up using it as a positive thing. Hester has a lot of bad events happen during this time of her life. Hester learned how to use her negatives and turn them into positives. This shows her character got stronger as the book went on cause no matter how bad things got, Hester always found a way to make this part of her life as enjoyable as possible.