Hawthorne Dispels Puritan Belief through Destiny

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Puritan men held dark suspicions of all women as daughters of Eve, hungry for both control and sexual indulgence.In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne investigates the nature of sin and criticizes Puritan cruelty and intolerance. Throughout the novel, the scarlet A comes to represent a refusal to accept the Puritan social structure because Hester Prynne's strength, honesty, and compassion carry her through a life she had not imagined.Hester did good womanly deeds, such as needlework around the town, which led people to believe that the scarlet letter represents the word "Able" rather than "adultery."Arthur Dimmesdale died after his confession on the scaffold and Roger Chillingworth died from his own jealousy, but Hester the only character accused of an actual sin, lives on peacefully. Women should be viewed with "awe and reverence," just as the scarlet A on Hester's bosom had been described at the end of the novel (Hawthorne 238) The Scarlet Letter dispels the idea of "women's sinful passion" and the social and judicial structure of the Puritans (Hawthorne 73).
Hester Prynne is "guilty of a sin of unrestricted emotion," and therefore Hawthorne allows the scarlet A (a representation of Hester's sin, adultery, put to public humiliation) to change meaning and symbolism through the character Hester (Stubbs). As the story unfolds, Hester steps out of the prison bearing the scarlet A, that she had embroidered herself with gold thread making it look fancy, which intimidated the other women.Although the scarlet A was intended for punishment by the Puritan elders, Hawthorne uses it to show weakness in their social and lawful structure. Since Hester's punishment allowed everyone to know that she was an adulteress, the town's people treated her like a criminal, condemning her for her sin everywhere she went.Hester was forced to l…