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Hester vs. the Community from The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter seems to be made around Hawthorne's obsession with the forbidding caliber of this scarlet "A", the symbol from which the book takes its name. Rrom the rose-bush that Hawthorne chooses a flower from as an offering to the reader(1) into the "elfish" kid Pearl, each component of the narrative is saturated in this letter's scarlet colour. Perhaps this repetition reflects Hawthorne's own repressed desires, as some critics suggest(2). However, what appears more compelling is that the function which the symbol serves for Hester Prynne and the community which has condemned her. For Hester the emblem is obviously a literary one; she styles the scarlet "A" to meet the use of telling, in a single solid picture, her narrative of strength and sorrow. For the Puritan community that the emblem doesn't lead to reality, but rather conceals it. They place their fears and darkest imaginings into this brand. Hawthorne's potential artistic obsession brings to life a tortured girl, and the agony of the society that inflicts her punishment. Freudian symbolism has to be distinguished from literary symbolism in order to form a deeper comprehension of the symbolic scarlet "A" conceived as a punishment with a Puritan society's desire to uphold its truths, but brought into physical presence by Hester Prynne's "fancy." (3) Daniel Weiss embarks on the venture of solidifying this differentiation in the very first chapter of the book titled The Critic Agonistes: Psychology, Myth, and the Art of Fiction. (4). Weiss suggests that "the literary symbol is a concrete and untranslatable presentation of an idea, or an experience that can't find its way into understanding except throu...