"She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom. Nathaniel Hawthorne�s masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter, set in 17th-century Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, is the tale of Hester Prynne�s �shame� following the birth of a child whose father remains unidentified for the larger part of the narrative. Hester�s defiance in the face of expulsion and repudiation makes her a heroine ahead of her time. Pearl, the illegitimate daughter, Arthur Dimmesdale, the �cheating� Minister of Church, Reverend John Wilson, and the malicious Roger Chillingworth are Hawthorne�s characters whose lives, premised on guilt and pride, take a tumultuous turn as the cataclysmic outcome of an act of passion. The embroidered scarlet �A��that she is required to wear on her dress on the day of her punishment� becomes a manifestation of Hester�s �adultery�, her erratic past and ignominious present. Will she break her vow of silence?"