Symbolism Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's ' Scarlet Letter ' And ' The Minister 's Black Veil '

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Alex Rojas Ms. Bacon English IV H 11/3/15 Many dark romantics use symbolism to support the themes in their stories. The themes represented by these symbols tend to represent sin and evil. Like many of his writing counterparts, Nathaniel Hawthorne extensively uses symbolism in several of his major works to explore sin and human nature. The Scarlett Letter, “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister 's Black Veil” are all vivid examples of this exploration and are the focus of this analysis. Before discussing his works, it is important to explore Hawthorne’s background to better understand how they connect to his writing and to his use of dark romanticism. Hawthorne came from Puritan ancestry. His family was actively involved in religious persecution of others and participated heavily in witch trials. Hawthorne added a "w" to his last name in efforts to avoid any correlation with his family’s dark past. As a writer, Hawthorne is portrayed as a dark romantic during a time period where colleagues such as Emerson and Thoreau were seen as transcendentalists (Bacon). They believed that people and nature were inherently good if they were self-reliant and demonstrated individual strength. Hawthorne’s perspective was quite different since he believed that everyone had a dark side and that sin and guilt were needed in order to find ones true self in society. In The Scarlett Letter, Hawthorne uses one of his main characters, Hester, as a symbolic representation of the

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