Symbolism Essay : ' The Scarlet Letter '

Decent Essays

Paige Davis
Mrs. Walker
English III
18 November 2015
The Scarlet Letter contains plenty of symbolism in itself. Hawthorne has filled every page with deeper meanings and not always a thorough explanation. Almost everything is a metaphor, even the smallest things that anyone could think of.
After the Custom-House intro, Hawthorne leaves his readers in a Puritan society, at a door that’s “heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes” (1.1). Granted, it 's a prison door. But the narrator goes on to describe the door as never having known “a youthful era” (1.2). This door is only 15-20 years old, and it is “marked with weather-stains and other indications of age” (1.2). The prison represents the harsh life of the Puritans, including everything that is strict and lawful in the society. The prison represents a place of darkness and sin, and right beside the door sits a symbol of the exact opposite.
The rose bush next to the door represents an element of grace and forgiveness. Since the prison represents such negativity, the proximity of the rose bush proves itself interesting, because of the contrast it brings. By starting the novel with an ugly door and a beautiful rose bush, Hawthorne proves that the topics of mercy, grace and justice will be extremely relevant in the chapters to come.
Pearl is one of the biggest symbols in the book, and she even comes up before the A does. Pearl is just as much of a symbol as a character; she represents the price

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