What is the significance of the title in The Scarlet Letter?

Quick answer:

The significance of the title of The Scarlet Letter is that the letter is the symbol of adultery and sin that Hester is ordered to wear prominently. The “A” stands for adulteress. The scarlet denotes how unlike the Puritans, who wear plain simple clothing in dark somber colors, Hester is. The title is also significant because Hester thwarts people's intentions, using her skills at embroidery to embellish it and even make it lovely.

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The significance of the title of The Scarlet Letter is that it is the symbol that Hester Prynne is ordered to wear on her chest prominently to show the world that she is a sinner. The letter itself is “A,” which stands for adulteress. It is true that Hester is an adulteress. She has a husband, although he is not there with her and has not been for many months. When it becomes obvious that Hester is pregnant, it is clear that the father is not her husband, and people in the small Puritan town in which she lives immediately recognize that she is an adulteress. In their Puritan community, committing adultery is a sin, making Hester a sinner.

The reason for the letter being scarlet is because scarlet is also the mark of a sinner. Puritans wear plain simple clothing in dark somber colors. By comparison, the vibrant color scarlet stands out and calls attention to the item that is in scarlet. Moreover, because it is so different from the narrow range of color schemes that Puritans endorse, it is also viewed negatively. In fact, scarlet and the color red in general have come to symbolize sinful behavior in literature generally.

The title is also significant because the town intends to punish and humiliate Hester. However, Hester wears the letter proudly to thwart their intentions, using her embroidery skills to embellish it with gold.

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