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The Scarlet Letter

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The Spirit of the Scarlet Letter

SCARLT-DYLOXO

In Chapter 15,

when Pearl asks Hester the meaning of the scarlet letter, it is the first time Hester lies about its meaning. Hawthorne suggests the scarlet letter might be the talisman of a stern and severe, but yet a guardian spirit and that the reason why Hester lies is because the spirit now forsook her, as recognizing that, in spite of strict watch over her heart, some new evil had crept into it, or some old one had never been expelled. (149)

What does this mean?

A

A spirit protects Hester, but it has abandoned her because Hester is not sorry for her sin.

B

A spirit protects Hester, but it has abandoned her because it is no longer needed.

C

The scarlet letter is a protective symbol, the spirit of which is not purely benign.

D

The scarlet letter protects Hester from evil entering her heart.

E

Evil has entered Hester's heart so much so that the scarlet letter is ineffective.