Symbolism Of The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Decent Essays
Nicholas Markle
Mrs. Voshell
Honors English 10
6 January 2017 Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, The Scarlet Letter, symbolism is used to give the reader an in-depth understanding into the events that take place in the story. There are several symbols that Hawthorne uses to give meaning to the people, places, and things throughout the story. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne’s husband disappears and is thought to be dead. She has a child with Dimmesdale, Hester’s minister, and the baby’s name is Pearl. The identity of the father is not revealed until later in the story. During Hester’s public shaming for committing adultery, she sees her husband, Chillingworth, in the crowd. Once Hester’s husband finds out
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She is forced to wear the letter as a sentence for adultery. In the book, it is widely known among the townspeople as a unholy symbol and shun all who are affiliated with it.. The scarlet letter has appeared multiple times in the story in more ways than just appearing on Hester. It appeared in the sky when the comet flew by and it was carved onto Hester and Dimmesdale’s tombstones. To Hester, it was a reminder of her sin, and a punishment that she thought she deserved. To the townspeople, it was a symbol of sin and of how feeble the woman’s mind was. To Dimmesdale, it is a mark of unholy sin and a stain on his mind and spirit. Every time he sees the scarlet letter, he is reminded of his sin. To the reader, it was a symbol of the passion between Hester and Dimmesdale. The next symbol used in the story is Pearl. Pearl is the daughter of Hester and Dimmesdale. She is described as an imaginative child and thought to be the offspring of a demon due to her sudden outbursts of rages and her loud screams, and because of this, she terrified the people. She was always dressed in extravagant outfits, while Hester dressed in plain and dull outfits, with the only decoration was the infamous scarlet letter. In the context of the book, “Pearl was the outcome of a sin, of adultery, and was seen as impure.” To Hester, Pearl is a constant reminder of her sin and her adultery. To the townspeople, she
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