It is branded as a place where witches convene, and the devil resides. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. The very ideal of ignominy was embodied and made manifest in this contrivance of wood and iron. However, as time progresses, the meaning of the letter changed.
She is required to wear a scarlet "A" on her dress when she is in front of the townspeople to shame her. She wishes Chillingworth would exact his revenge on her instead of Dimmesdale.
She even takes it off when she asks Dimmesdale to run off with her to Europe. What we know about Hester from the days prior to her punishment is that she came from a "genteel but impoverished English family" of notable lineage.
He begins to torture the minister mentally to find out the truth. A kind woman at heart, she helps people who are in need, as is shown by the end.
Following her ordeal on the scaffold, Boston's officials decide to release Hester from prison. In fact, so physically stunning is she that "her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy in which she was enveloped.
This combination of "dreaminess" and realism gave the author space to explore major themes. Hester moderates her tendency to be rash, for she knows that such behavior could cause her to lose her daughter, Pearl. The reader first meets the incredibly strong Hester on the scaffold with Pearl in her arms, beginning her punishment.
Her lover, however, is another matter and he demands to know who it is; Hester refuses to divulge such information. The irony here is that they are, in fact, Christians. The only remarkable features of the sketch are its frank and genuine good-humor Chillingworth's estate makes Pearl rich, and she never returns to Boston.
Later, most witnesses swear that they saw a stigma in the form of a scarlet "A" upon his chest, although some deny this statement.
She speculates on human nature, social organization, and larger moral questions. In the end, when Dimmesdale confesses that she is his daughter too, she is content, and becomes a quiet and calm child.
Though the narrator doesn't say so, the minister has been carving an A into his chest, marking himself an adulterer.
In fact, Chillingworth wants to ferret out Pearl's father and has reason to suspect that Dimmesdale might be the culprit. In this first scene, Dimmesdale implores her to name the father of the baby and her penance may be lightened.
Hester convinces Dimmesdale to run away with her and Pearl so that they can start over together as a family. Though Dimmesdale doesn't know what Chillingworth has done or refrained from doinghe feels a mounting discomfort around the doctor and grows to hate him.
Following the interrogation, Hester and Prynne meet in private, where the two apologize for their respective offenses Hester for her adultery and Prynne for his long absence, as well as for marrying such a young, vital woman—and at his age.
The person who is made to stand on the scaffold is scorned and humiliated; it is someone who must not be associated with. Without treatment, this wound has become infected. He calls them "pitiless. The scarlet color may also be a reflection of his rage towards her and the other man, and his vow for vengeance.
As for Dimmesdale, the "cheating minister", his sin gives him "sympathies so intimate with the sinful brotherhood of mankind, so that his chest vibrate[s] in unison with theirs.
In the meantime, Dimmesdale's guilt drives him to climb the scaffold at night and reveal his chest, as if to tell all Boston the truth. The early chapters of the book suggest that, prior to her marriage, Hester was a strong-willed and impetuous young woman—she remembers her parents as loving guides who frequently had to restrain her incautious behavior.
We know very little about Hester prior to her affair with Dimmesdale and her resultant public shaming. The first mechanized printing of The Scarlet Letter, 2, volumes, sold out within ten days,  and was widely read and discussed to an extent not much experienced in the young country up until that time.The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a classic which is the main reason I chose to read it.
But, besides being a classic, it is also a very good book, and I enjoyed it immensely, though the ending was disappointing in that it was a little vague as to the fates of some of the characters.
One example of situational irony is in Hawthorne's depiction of the Puritans, especially the women, as they gaze on Hester upon the scaffold.
He calls them "pitiless self-constituted judges.".
Complete summary of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne (–).The Scarlet Letter. The Custom-House Introductory to “The Scarlet Letter”.
One example of situational irony is in Hawthorne's depiction of the Puritans, especially the women, as they gaze on Hester upon the scaffold. He calls them "pitiless self-constituted judges.". Nathaniel Hawthorne (–).The Scarlet Letter.
The Custom-House Introductory to “The Scarlet Letter”.Download