Symbolism of the Rose Bush in The Scarlet Letter

1116 Words 5 Pages
Symbolism of the Rose Bush in The Scarlet Letter

"On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter 'A'" (51). That one simple letter set into the bodice of a young woman named Hester Prynne, tells a story of heartache, pride, strength and triumph in the book elegantly written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1850). Hawthorne's novel provides many types of symbolism. One of such is the symbolism of a red rose bush growing outside the gates of the town prison.

Hester Prynne starts her life as an average respected young woman until she commits the loathsome crime of adultery, which forever condemns her to wear a
…show more content…
The rose bushes and the red blossoms symbolize the strength the rose bush needed to survive in its elements to thus provide happiness in others. That one lone beauty, growing in such a dark and gloomy place, provides a ray of hope for those living in despair and loneliness inside the prison gates. The elements the rose bush is exposed to, act as a metaphor for Hester and her hardships which she slowly learns to adapt to.

Hester committed adultery, which was believed by the puritans to be a horrible crime. Because of this she lives everyday with the constant reminder of her sin from "Scarlet Letter" she is forced to wear on her bosom. Hester is also pushed away from everyday society, and forced to live a hidden and lonesome life. While in prison she is presented with her first child Pearl, who gives her a small amount of comfort. For Pearl was still too young to communicate and connect with Hester. Eventually Pearl matures to become Hester's one and only true confidant and friend. Finally sharing some feelings of warmth and comfort with Hester. The same applied to the rose bush. After years of torment, it reaches a point in its life where it is strong enough to present to the world the beauty it…