Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter And The Ministers Black Veil

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Pamela Hernandez
Honors American literature
15 October 2015
Nathaniel Hawthorne Utilization of Symbolism Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of both stories The Scarlet Letter and “The Ministers Black Veil” utilizes symbols to show the lasting impact it leaves on the individual and in the community around them. In The Scarlet Letter and “The Ministers Black Veil” both main characters Hester Prynne and Reverend Mr. Hopper both have symbols in which both are of great significance. Hester’s symbol is an embroidered A on her chest meaning Adultery but later changes meaning by the community’s perspective as the time goes on. While in “The Ministers Black veil” Reverend Mr. Hooper’s symbol is a black veil that covers his face in which he never takes off not even on his death bed. Both symbols start off as something terrible, scary, and dreadful by the community’s view, but later reaching further into both stories the symbols leave a lasting impression not only on the individual itself but also the community. The Scarlet Letter is composed of many different symbols but the two that stand out are Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale hand over his heart and Hester’s Prynne A on her bosom. Hester’s Prynne symbol starts off as something atrocious that has a shameful meaning to it. The community around her see the symbol and identify her as a criminal. Even through the symbol is embroidered so beautifully on to her chest, some of her community see “in their imagination, and seemed to derive its

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