Essay Color Key

Free Essays
Unrated Essays
Better Essays
Stronger Essays
Powerful Essays
Term Papers
Research Papers





Symbols and Symbolism - The Letter A in The Scarlet Letter

Rate This Paper:

Length: 621 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Red (FREE)      
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Symbolism of the Scarlet Letter

 

        Authors sometimes use symbols in their novels to represent

different objects, people or ideas.  One example is the S on Superman's

uniform, which symbolizes him being supper.  In "The Scarlet Letter"

Nathaniel Hawthorne creates the symbolism of the letter "A" to have

different meanings.  As the novel unfolds, the meanings of the letter "A"

on Hester Prynne's bosom changes, from adultery to able to angel.

 

        In the beginning of the novel, Hawthorne describes the letter "A"

that lies on Hester's bosom as a symbol of adultery.  Hester is made to

wear the letter "A" once the town's people see, that she committed adultery

by bearing a child by some other soul than her husband Roger Chillingworth.

Since she has worn this letter, she now has a label on her that she is

sinful.  She is brought out in public to show everyone what is embroidered

on her chest.  The narrator shares, "When the young women- the mother of

this child-stood fully revealed before the crowd...On the breast of her

gown, in fine red cloth surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and

fantastic flourshes of gold thread..."(50-1).  Many people there to see her

when she reveals the "A" on her chest.  Most of the town people are

astonished and startled on her beauty still shone.  Even though the big red

letter on her chest stood for adultery.

 
        As the novel progressed the meaning as the "A"" made a change for

the better in Hester's life.  In chapters before of the novel the letter

"A" on Hester's bosom had negative meaning, but this time Hawthorne turns

the meaning around in the story to mean able.  Now that she has given many

hours of time and service to the sick, poor and troubled she began to gain

respect from some of the town's people who once looked down on her.  This

time the author shares, "Such helpfulness was found in her-so much power to

do and power to sympathize-that many people refused to interpret the

scarlet "A" by it's original signification.  They said that it meant "

Able"...(158).  Hester still held up her head and did not appear to be down.

 She was trying to become herself again slowly.  Once again the letter on

her chest changed from the meaning of adultery to something she could be

proud of.



        Once the novel nears the end Hawthorne again makes the letter "A"

"stand for an angel.  Hester in the story about this time had more self-

esteem and she also looked upon herself as a good person after her sacred

love is revealed.  So she looks at the "A" lying on her bosom with better

thoughts.  "The angel and apostle of the coming must be a women, indeed,

but lofty, pure and beautiful, and wise, moreover, not through dusky grief,

but the ethereal medium of joy" (258).  Hawthorn lets us understand that no

matter what others think of Hester it does not seem to matter.  "So said

Heater Prone, and glanced her eyes downward at the scarlet letter.  And,

after many years a new grave was delved after a sunken one..."(258).  This

was an everlasting impression from the how the symbolism of the letter that

lies on her chest to mean angel witch was another good meaning for her.

 

        Throughout the "Scarlet Letter" Hawthorne portrays symbolism of the

letter "A".  This makes readers think something about one thing that really

could be totally different.  Still at the end of this book it came out to

be a positive meaning.  The purpose of this to show that objects in stories

can have more than one meaning you just have to use your imagination.  Not

like the beginning when the "A" stood for adultery.
 

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Symbols and Symbolism - The Letter A in The Scarlet Letter." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Aug 2014
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=16955>.




Related Searches





Important Note: If you'd like to save a copy of the paper on your computer, you can COPY and PASTE it into your word processor. Please, follow these steps to do that in Windows:

1. Select the text of the paper with the mouse and press Ctrl+C.
2. Open your word processor and press Ctrl+V.

Company's Liability

123HelpMe.com (the "Web Site") is produced by the "Company". The contents of this Web Site, such as text, graphics, images, audio, video and all other material ("Material"), are protected by copyright under both United States and foreign laws. The Company makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the Material or about the results to be obtained from using the Material. You expressly agree that any use of the Material is entirely at your own risk. Most of the Material on the Web Site is provided and maintained by third parties. This third party Material may not be screened by the Company prior to its inclusion on the Web Site. You expressly agree that the Company is not liable or responsible for any defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of other subscribers or third parties.

The Materials are provided on an as-is basis without warranty express or implied. The Company and its suppliers and affiliates disclaim all warranties, including the warranty of non-infringement of proprietary or third party rights, and the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. The Company and its suppliers make no warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the material, services, text, graphics and links.

For a complete statement of the Terms of Service, please see our website. By obtaining these materials you agree to abide by the terms herein, by our Terms of Service as posted on the website and any and all alterations, revisions and amendments thereto.



Return to 123HelpMe.com

Copyright © 2000-2013 123HelpMe.com. All rights reserved. Terms of Service