The Scarlet Letter

What secondary meaning now was given to Hester's scarlet letter? Explain the irony involved in the way people came to regard Hester's scarlet letter.

Chapter 13: Aanother view of Hester

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Some in the community came to see the letter not as "adulterer" but as "Able". To them, Hester's punishment had transformed her into a pious Christian woman. Hester became famous for giving freely to the poor while living in humble isolation. THe irony of course is that, by their witnessing the ridiculous punishment and shunning the poor woman, they somehow had a hand in her conversion. Another irony is that they failed to see what Hester had really become. Hester became a shell of her former self, void of the passion and spark that made her so full of life.