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EL 266 The Letter A has diferent connotations

"It lies not in the pleasure of the magistrate to take off this badge, " "Were I worthy to be quit of it, it would fall away of its own nature, or be transformed into something that should speak a different purport." (Hawthorne) p.155

Hester is basically owning the letter-A. She becomes engulfed in it and its definition. That is how she is individualized in the community. Other women may just be true wives to their husbands in the colony, but Hester stands above all of them with the distinct characteristic of the letter on her breast.
It seems that her and Dimmsdale glorify their faults. The Scarlet Letter is definitive of who she is. Hester, in my opinion, feels that while she owns the letter, she is imprisoned by it as well. Cutting it off her breast would only bring it back again, possibly, one day.


Oddly enough, I just said the same thing about Dimmesdale, but I think Hester is something of a masochist. She really does seem to enjoy torture, to the point that she has develped a wierd new form of Stolkholm syndrome, and is attatched to the instrument of her torment.

True, it's also come to symbolize her own ability to be strong in the face torment, but I think the fact that suffering has become such a big part of who she is, sort of indicates that she in some way needs it.

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