How did the scarlet letter appear when it was reflected in the polish breast plate of the suit of armor? What was the significance of this?

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cmcqueeney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The imagery of this scene vividly expresses the conflicts Hester deals with throughout this novel. The person of Hester Prynne - her character, passion, and womanhood - is hidden behind the scarlet letter she must wear. She becomes a shell of the person she once was and is ultimately defined by the letter.
In addition, this scene also paints the ever-present conflict Hester has with little Pearl. Pearl's obsession with the scarlet letter links her to Hester in an inescapable and symbolic way while Pearl's reactions to the letter cause her to seem like something apart from Hester, sent to torture her for her sin.

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This occurs in Chapter VII, "The Governor's...

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