Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter “The Scarlet Letter is often regarded as the first novel to be published in the United States that used symbolism”(Voshell Study Guide). Author Nathaniel Hawthorne expressed symbolism in and all throughout The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne uses symbolism for two different reasons. One of the reasons is that the use of symbolism creates a more enlightened effect, and giving the story more of a memorable sense with the images of the darkness and light, the good and the bad/evil, nature and society, and freedom and oppression.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was an active anti-transcendentalist, whose stories pinned individuals against society. Hawthorne was one of many Dark Romantics well known for their overall use of symbolism. One such example comes from The Sca...
Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of the most creative symbolists in 19th century literature. Throughout his novel The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne makes use of various effective symbols that are represented through characters and the scarlet letter itself. These symbols are used to represent the various aspects of rigid Puritan society.
Context of Hawthorne's Art.” Nineteenth-Century Fiction 24.2 (Sept. 1969): 182-192. JASTOR. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
Hawthorne’s Use of Allegory "The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a short story that was first published in the 1836 edition of the Token and Atlantic Souvenir and reappeared over time in Twice-Told Tales, a collection of short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The short story narrates the events following Reverend Mr. Hooper's decision to begin wearing a black veil that obscures his full face, except for his mouth and chin. Mr. Hooper simply arrives one day at the meeting house wearing the semi-transparent black veil and refuses from then on to take it of, leading to the loss of his fiancée and isolation form the world. He is even buried in the black veil. Yet, what is important to note are Mr. Hooper's last words to those surrounding his deathbed.
Two hundred years ago, Puritans, having escaped from their sovereign European civilization are not yet acquainted to the new freedoms they have been desperately wanting. They rebuked many of the Merry Mount colonists who were a “different sort of people (Chen).” Puritans were filled with extreme beliefs which caused them to harm anyone who believed anything separate from their views. This is a common reality of today’s life as well; Nevertheless, Hawthorne’s work is based largely on symbolism. Hawthorne uses colors to symbolize the different aspects of Puritans lifestyle. He wants his readers to feel the variety of emotions through colors such as green, red, and black. The story itself is also based on some historical truth. For Example, “Merry
Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter Symbolism plays an important role in the Scarlet Letter. The scarlet "A" is used to represent sin and anguish along with happiness. The "A" has different meanings to people other than what was originally intended. The scaffold is used as a place of repentance and judgment by God. Pearl is another major symbol used as a reminder of the scarlet letter.
Hawthorne was among of best American nineteen century writers. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories were very interesting and persuasive, compared to other writers during his time in the nineteen century including Ralph Emerson, and Thoreau. What makes Hawthorne stories are because of the tension between two groups in each of his stories. Analyzing stories will uncover many parts of each character and the significant role he or she play in the history. Each character or group represents something in the story. Hawthorne stories “ The May-pole of Merry Mounts” “The Minister’s of Black Veil” and “ The Birth-Mark” emphasized their obsession and tensions. First, The “May Pole of Merry Mounts” was about the tension between two groups’ Puritans
Hawthorne has mastered ambiguity. He strings along his narrative through a filter of excessive commas and clauses. His writing reads slowly because each sentence is rich with detail and dramatically because of his extravagant, descriptive diction. In this, ambiguity is intrinsic to Hawthorne; it distinguishes him from other romantic and sadistic authors. The townspeople are introduced as naturally judgmental; their judgment is based off of each other. Once one or two people ostracize someone, the townspeople latch onto the trend, and when they single someone out, it is “as if [their] heart had been flung into the street for them all to spurn and trample upon” (41). The townspeople of Puritan society function under strict religious beliefs and
"The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a short story that was first published in the 1836 edition of the Token and Atlantic Souvenir and reappeared over time in Twice-Told Tales, a collection of short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The short story narrates the events that follow Reverend Mr. Hooper's decision to start wearing a black veil that obscures his full face, except for his mouth and chin. Mr. Hooper simply arrives one day at the meeting house wearing the semi-transparent black veil and refuses from that moment on to take it off, which leads to the loss of his fiancée and isolation from the world. Mr. Hooper even goes as far as to insist on burial in the black veil. Yet, what is crucial to note are Mr. Hooper's last words to those surrounding his deathbed. Mr. Hooper tells them in anger that all of them wear black veils: “I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a Black Veil!” (Hawthorne). This declaration underlines the meanings of the veil in the story as symbolic of sin, darkness, and the duality within human nature. Thus, "The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a literary work of art that demonstrates the author's use of allegory to highlight the psychological angle of the story and characters using agents of symbols, setting, characters, and actions in a coherent way to represent non-literal and metaphorical meanings about the human character (Abrams 7).