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Symbolism From The Scarlet Letter

Decent Essays
Emalee McCracken
Mrs. Voshell
Honors English 10
21 December 2016
Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter
There are many forms of symbolism found in The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne, the author uses his many forms of symbolism to project a lesson or moral created throughout the story. Even each of the main characters has a different moral representation. Guilt, repentance, purity, and strength each are shown through the eyes of a different character. Pear, Hester Prynne, Chillingworth, and Reverend Dimmesdale are main characters that are used to show that you should “Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!”(Hawthorne286)
Hester Prynne is the first of many
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Pearl also becomes the one reason Hester still enjoys her life. She accompanies Hester everywhere they go. However she also has issues caused by her lack of social interaction, when kids make comments to her she charges and screams at them. Pearl is also very smart for her age. Throughout the story she is able to make connections based on very subtle cues, such as why Dimmesdale places his hand over his heart.
Reverend Dimmesdale is a character foil of Hester Prynne. Whereas she represents repented and forgiven sin he does not. Dimmesdale cannot forgive himself and tortures himself because of it. He does this by holding vigils and famines. This causes him to be weak and frail, whereas Hester is strong and thusly causing her to be the strength of Dimmsdale both mentally and physically. Together Hester and Dimmesdale plan to leave Boston to return to England, but Dimmesdale dies due to his constant torture.
Hawthorne does not only use human or people for symbolism. He also uses inanimate objects to project his themes and morals. There are many different things used iron, a rosebush, scaffolds, and of course the scarlet letter. In The Scarlet Letter the author might directly state what the objects represents or it might be left to the reader to decide for themselves what the object means.
The rose bush is directly stated by Hawthorne that it might represent a sweet moral blossom. It can also be shown as “To
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