Some stories contain one main theme and/or symbol,
whereas others may contain many themes and/or
symbols. There were many themes and symbols found
throughout The Scarlet Letter. The main symbol in
the story was the letter “A” which identified
Hester as an adulterer. This symbol directly
correlates with one of the themes in the story.
The theme was: Be true to yourself and deny not
the chance to bear the burden and Hester Prynne
was a Puritan woman who committed adultery.
Because she admitted her guilt, she was made to
stand upon a scaffold daily and be ridiculed by
the townspeople. Also, she was made to wear a
scarlet A which she had sewn for herself. Wearing
the A, there was no escaping or denying her sin.
Be true to yourself and deny not the chance to
bear the burden and recognition of your sins was a
theme in the story.
Her actions directly correlate
to this theme. She did not deny the fact that she
had a child outside of her marriage. She admitted
it to herself and to the people of her village.
Also, she wore her letter proudly. She was not
ashamed that she had loved another because her
love was real. She was not ashamed that she had
this child out of wedlock because the child was
created in love and her love for the child was
also real. She allowed others to see her for who
she was, an adulterer.
She recognized her sins and
dealt with the consequences. Her recognition, not
the fact that she stood on the scaffold and dealt
with others opinions, was really her redemption.
If she had not been able to recognize her sin and
carry the burden for it, she may have punished
herself far more than the people would ever be
able to. If you are not able to look at yourself
and be content, the positive words of others are
meaningless. Because she was able to evaluate the
situation and deal with it within herself, she was
able to accept and move on. It is clear to see how
Hester wearing her A directly relates to the theme
of the story. Wearing her A, Hester was able to be
true to herself and bear her burden which allowed
her to began to come to peace with herself.
Research essay sample on The Scarlet Letter