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Throughout most novels, at least one main character evolves in one way. In the romance novel,The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the story of Hester Prynne, an adulteress, changes as she is forced to face her past…but does she actually change? In the beginning of the novel, Hester is put to shame for her past actions which she had to deal with everyday since. Hester is forced to acknowledge her shame for the first time. During the course of the novel, you see that Hester makes a remarkable decision to stay in her hometown and not run away from her problems. She choses to give back to the people who have treated her poorly and grows as a person. Towards the end of the novel, Hester comes to terms with the fact that all of her mistakes have led up to the downfall of her lover and husband. 
The Scarlet Letter open up with Hester Prynne, a woman whose husband has been away for two years working in New England, leaving Hester alone. She is soon found to be pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl. The birth of the baby proves to be evidence that Hester did in fact cheat on her husband. Hester is put to public shame for the sin she has committed. In chapter two, Hawthorne writes,  Hester is forced to stand in front of all the people in the town wearing the letter “A” to represent adultery. Hester confuses the townspeople as she stands before them with confidence and appears to not take it as a punishment. Hester’s contemptuous appearance does not represent how she truly feels on the inside. Even Though Hester seems like she is put together and unbothered she is battling an internal conflict. Towards the end of the first few chapters, during her stand in front of the townspeople Hester clings onto her baby so tightly that she begins to cry. Hester looks down at the scarlet letter placed on her shirt and touches it. This proves that even if Hester doesn’t openly accept the truth, deep down inside she feels that shame she has placed upon herself and her child.
  After Hester is released from prison, she is filled with guilt for the sin she has committed and humiliated by how her mistakes were made public. Hester makes the baffling decision to stay in her town where everyone torments her. Everywhere she goes people stop to stare at her and mock her for the letter she wears. In chapter five, Hawthorne writes,  The constant glares and words that are yelled at Hester, make her admit that her torture is indeed Pearl represented by her daughter. After being treated so badly by the other people in her community, Hester chooses to give back to those who’ve wished her ill and uses her talents to help the poor, despite her own poverty. By sewing garments for the poor, Hester proves to be a generous woman with a charitable nature. Hester, who was once filled with hatred and spitefulness towards the people who make fun of her, grows as a person and shows there is goodness within her. 
At last, it seems that Hester has developed as a person and has learned from her mistakes and has changed her way of life. A few years pass and the torment caused by the letter and Pearl seem to fade. Hester slowly started to forget the meaning behind the “A” she wears. Some people began to misinterpret the A she wears as “able” instead of “adulteress.” Further into the novel it is brought up that the scarlet letter has not sufficiently done its job. The purpose of the letter is to punish Hester for her wrong actions and teach her not to sin, but instead she continues to sin by lying to her daughter Pearl about the truth behind the letter she wears. Towards the end of the novel, Hester and  her lover, Arthur, discuss their plans to leave town. At this point Hester clearly proves that she has not learned her lesson. Hester has been living apart from her husband for many years while she is still married. If she were to run away with Arthur she would be committing adultery again. Ultimately, both Arthur and her husband die. Leaving Hester alone once again with Pearl. Hester realizes that all of the events leading up to their deaths and even their deaths were all her fault. 
Hester Prynne’s actions throughout this novel prove her to be a dynamic and diverse character. Hester is put to shame for the sins she commits and in spite of all of her public humiliation and consequences she ends up in the same state of mind with which she started the novel in. In the first place, she is ashamed and filled with regret. But this is later turned into goodness as she choses to help those who have done her wrong. From time to time, the narrator subtly hints at the fact that Hester hasn’t truly changed and doesn’t accept her wrong doings. Subsequently, Hester ends the novel with yet again another idea of adultery. Hester’s character is incredibly dynamic and constantly changes back and forth during the novel. 

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