In the world of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, he shows the audience a 1600 Puritan society. This "utopia- has people who all seem to be very ugly and uptight. They all think that they live with such perfect values that they all jump on Hester Prynne for having this baby out of wedlock. However, a good example of how the colony has deteriorated is when Hawthorne states that "20 years into the experiment they need cemeteries and prisons."" In this world Hawthorne conveys, he uses distortion a great deal to signify something as being much bigger than it really would be. The use of distortion and exaggeration is very prevalent throughout the entire story and helps to convey the mood of this society. The greatest amount of distortion goes to Hester Prynne's Scarlet Letter, which is her burden for her sin. The effect that this distortion of the letter produces is that the audience is left to try to draw the conclusion from the story by following the themes and seeing how the distortion itself can heighten our responses to the actions of the novel. The Scarlet Letter is very distorted in its depiction of the appearance of the letter, the meaning of the letter, and the affect that the letter has on other people. .
The appearance of the Scarlet Letter is very mysterious. Hester is an expert in sewing creates the letter that she must wear and turns it into a beautiful icon. "The Scarlet Letter so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy.""(P. 60) This line shows that she really has created something good out of something that should be bad. This leaves the audience wondering if she is repentant for her sin, or if this society she lives in is so boring and dull that this letter can actually be more beautiful then the people of this colony. Another line that shows the distortion of the letter is " The Scarlet Letter so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom.