What does the last sentence of the scarlet letter mean?

A motto carved on the headstone they share ensures that their punishment follows them even into death: “on a field, sable, the letter A, gules.” This motto is a verbal representation of the scarlet letter (“sable” means black and “gules” means reddish). We could interpret this persistent A as a tragic final image.

Why does Hester not remove the letter?

The scarlet letter has not led her to contemplate her sin and possible salvation. Now, Hester refuses to remove the scarlet letter—she understands that its removal would be as meaningless as its original placement. Her identity and, she believes, her soul’s salvation are matters that are between her and God.

What is the main point of the scarlet letter?

In The Scarlet Letter, the idea of sin and punishment is the main theme of the novel and how Hester Prynne, the main character, has been punished for her sin of adultery.

What one significant event in the life of Hester happened in Chapter 5?

Summary: Chapter 5: Hester at Her Needle The narrator covers the events of several years. After a few months, Hester is released from prison. Although she is free to leave Boston, she chooses not to do so. She settles in an abandoned cabin on a patch of infertile land at the edge of town.

What happened to Pearl in Scarlet Letter at the end?

In a rather ironic ending, Pearl, the “elf-child” becomes the most human in the final scaffold scene. Having inherited property from Chillingworth, she has become the “richest heiress of her day, in the New World.” With such riches, she may have married well, but her mother has taken her away to Europe.

What does the scarlet letter symbolize?

The scarlet letter is meant to be a symbol of shame, but instead it becomes a powerful symbol of identity to Hester. The letter’s meaning shifts as time passes.

Why does Hester help the poor?

She gives away all her spare money to the poor, on people who actually have more than she does. She also makes garments for the poor, and her charity is perhaps a form of penance for her sins. Besides using the money she earns as a seamstress to support herself and Pearl, Hester also uses it to help the poor.

How does Hester achieve her transformation?

Hester has changed throughout The Scarlet Letter. She was pushed into a world of isolation because she did not fear acting on her passion. Hester transforms from a free-thinking woman to a strong, “ABLE” woman. The suffering Hester endured strengthened her and turned her into a person who helped another in need.

Does Hester regret her sin?

Hester starts by seeing her act as a sin that she is sorry for committing. She changes and no longer feels sorry for the sin. Finally, Hester sees the act as not sinful, but she regrets committing it. This evil deed, in Hester’s eyes, causes Pearl to act sinful, so Hester feels overwhelming guilt.

How did Dimmesdale get the A on his chest?

He discovers that Dimmesdale, out of the guilt and sadness he feels from what occurs with Hester, has carved a letter “A” on his chest. This act of self-mutilation is essentially his own way to “share” the pain of Hester’s humiliation.

What happens in Chapter 5 of the Scarlet Letter?

Surprised at the impudence of a child so young (Pearl is about three at the time), Hester wonders if Pearl might not be the demon-child that many of the townspeople believe her to be. Chapter 5 deals with one of the primary questions of the book: why does Hester choose to stay in Boston when she is free to leave?

Where does the story of the Scarlet Letter take place?

Plot Overview. The story begins in seventeenth-century Boston, then a Puritan settlement. A young woman, Hester Prynne, is led from the town prison with her infant daughter, Pearl, in her arms and the scarlet letter “A” on her breast. A man in the crowd tells an elderly onlooker that Hester is being punished for adultery.

Why is Pearl interested in the Scarlet Letter?

This idea is reinforced by Hester’s needlework: out of necessity born of shame, luxury and beauty are crafted. It is fitting that Pearl is fascinated by the scarlet letter, as the child and the emblem are read similarly by society.

Why was the Scarlet Letter important to Hawthorne?

Yet the genius of Hawthorne’s technique here is that he uses the “un-human” elements of Hester and Pearl’s life together to emphasize their very humanness. The text suggests that being fully human means not denying one’s human nature. By indulging in dream, imagination, beauty, and passion, one accesses a world that is more magically transcendent.