The Scarlet Letter Question

At the beginning of The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne describes how the Puritans of Salem condemned Hester to her sin of adultery and treated her as if they did not know or approve of her. Through the many unkind looks and words, Hester continued her good deeds and helpfulness towards others in the town. Sadly, the poor “whom she sought out to be the objects of her bounty, often reviled the hand that was stretched forth to succor them” (Hester At Her Needle). I think Hawthorne condones the adultery of Hester and Dimmesdale in the novel. Like Hawthorne mentions in the beginning of the book, Hester helped the poor when she had very little, yet because of her reputation to sin, the poor never appreciated her kindness. Over the years, however, “Such helpfulness was found in her,–so much power to do, and power to sympathize,–that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able…” (Hawthorne Another View of Hester). The town learned to appreciate Hester for who she was instead of the deadly sin she committed. I believe this was the lesson Hawthorne supported and wanted others to understand.


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