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Essay On Color In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

Decent Essays
The Color Wheel of Life Color is a recurring symbol used throughout literature, such as in the short story Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Brown appears to be just a normal, common last name, but the mixture of colors required to achieve this hue is also symbolic of two or more conflicting emotions. The pink ribbons, while at first glance seems to indicate femininity, also is a blend of the passionate associations of red and the purity of white. Oftentimes, colors are overlooked and perceived as nothing more than the reflection of particles of light. However, the colors frequently contain a deeper meaning. Hawthorne recognizes the importance of this in his novel, The Scarlet Letter. Just how the ribbons and last name signify a combination of two ideas, the use of…show more content…
Passion is one of them, yet so is anger. After Hester commits adultery, she and the townspeople are angry at each other. Hester is angry and frustrated at everyone trying to find out who the father is, while the townspeople are angry for someone ruining their picture-perfect world of Puritanism. Eventually, Hester is able to wear the letter proudly on her chest. Just how the scarlet letter represents the mix of emotions Hester uses to succeed and to free herself from others’ judgement, so does the blend of black and white. While waiting in the woods with Pearl for Dimmesdale’s arrival,“there was Hester, clad in her gray robe.... so that these two fated ones, with earth’s heaviest burden on them, might sit down together and find a single hour’s rest and solace” (Hawthorne 210). Hester’s gray robe is symbolic of the good and evil she has inside of her. Though it may not be the same multitude as Dimmesdale, she too carries the burden of her sin. From the experience with everyone knowing of her sin, Hester wants a simple, true life. Before with Roger, she lived a life of lies.
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