The Scarlet Letter

Quote & Analysis?

What is the significance of Hester taking off her symbol for the first time? What does this do to her character? Pearl? Dimmesdale? Quote supporting this please?

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When Hester removes the symbol of her shame, she is able to embrace the woman she used to be if only for awhile.

"The stigma gone, Hester heaved a long, deep sigh, in which the burden of shame and anguish departed from her spirit. O exquisite relief! She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom! By another impulse, she took off the formal cap that confined her hair, and down it fell upon her shoulders, dark and rich, with at once a shadow and a light in its abundance, and imparting the charm of softness to her features. There played around her mouth, and beamed out of her eyes, a radiant and tender smile, that seemed gushing from the very heart of womanhood."

Dimmesdale felt and saw Hester in the same way she saw herself.

"Had the forest still kept its gloom, it would have been bright in Hester’s eyes, and bright in Arthur Dimmesdale’s!"

For Pearl, Hester's casting away of the letter has made her somewhat a stranger; she doesn't know her mother without it...... she doesn't want her mother to change.

"At length, assuming a singular air of authority, Pearl stretched out her hand, with the small forefinger extended, and pointing evidently towards her mother’s breast. And beneath, in the mirror of the brook, there was the flower-girdled and sunny image of little Pearl, pointing her small forefinger too.

‘Thou strange child! why dost thou not come to me?’ exclaimed Hester.

Pearl still pointed with her forefinger, and a frown gathered on her brow—the more impressive from the childish, the almost baby-like aspect of the features that conveyed it. As her mother still kept beckoning to her, and arraying her face in a holiday suit of unaccustomed smiles, the child stamped her foot with a yet more imperious look and gesture."


The Scarlet Letter

can u explain this qoute to me "I do forgive you, Hester," replied the minister, at length, ... with a deep utterance out of an abyss of sadness, but no anger. "I freely forgive you now. May God forgive us both!"