The Scarlet Letter 430-64

The Scarlet Letter

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A study of the tension between public and private morality, The Scarlet Letter carved new paths in American literary technique and substance.

Hester Prynne, the first and arguably still greatest heroine in American literature, struggles to turn a badge that her community is determined should shame and destroy her into a badge of moral triumph. An embroidered "A" intended to stigmatize her as an Adulteress becomes a symbol for Able, Admirable, Angel; exactly opposite that which the social leaders have determined it should mean. In Hester's struggle with the community that tries to condemn and ignore her, The Scarlet Letter has a conflict of great thematic significance.


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