Symbolism And Romanticism In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Scarlet Letter
“The Scarlet Letter”, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, records a struggled life about two adultery lovers. This story was marked by the most successful work back in 1850s and also become to a big part of Hawthorne’s writing career. Through the eyes of his main character Hester Prynne, the readers seem to see a woman’s helpless under a brutal and traditional society, which was ruled by Puritan people. After his book had been published one after another, no one can deny Hawthorne’s irreplaceable talent and unremitting effort. Nathaniel Hawthorne expressed his own feelings about the dark Puritan society through many successful works, which helped him become more and more popular after he died in 1864.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, one
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First, Hester is one guideline that with reveal sin and also leads to many different sins. She suffered from the strange insight and had been isolated from Puritan society, however, she only suffered from outside not from inside. Different from Hester, Arthur Dimmesdale is totally opposite. He is a noble man in front of people, but behind his majestic mask, he is an ugly sinner and always without forgiveness. He suffered not from outside. He was afraid his mask would be disclosed and expose his true colors, therefore, he refused to confess his sin which leads to his wife’s suffering, his daughter’s acceptance, and his own tribulation. Hawthorne used his detailed language with romantic writing style to describe the struggle of two lovers. The red color letter “a”, as the second main guideline, is the most typical symbol. The letter, with an unlimited imaginary association, made people wandering in Hawthorne’s fiction world. Red is the color of blood and fire, also a symbol of life, strength, and passion. Fire is the source of light and heat of human life, and the fire of love is the source of human life. Hawthorne combines symbolism with romanticism and endows this letter a new life. Hawthorne also focuses on the consequence of selfishness, guilt, and sin in this book. He uses his meticulous technique to describe a…show more content…
A western bishop appraised: “Yet we honestly believe that "the Scarlet Letter" has already done not a little to degrade our literature, and to encourage social licentiousness: it has started other pens on like enterprises, and has loosed the restraint of many tongues, that have made it an apology for "the evil communications which corrupt good manners.” (Coxe.) Hawthorne’s sagacious perception revealed the dark and ugly side of the Puritan society and remonstrated the unfairness under the laws. He established his story not only based on the actual events but also leaned on his lavish imaginative conception and his personal experience. Hawthorne is a good ironic writer and most of his eyes focus on the unfairness and repulsive about human life and he’s novel concentrated revealing the evils and ugly side about humanity. One of the best writers during 1900s, Henry James wrote: “He is to a considerable degree ironical—this is part of his charm—part even, one may say, of his brightness; but he is neither bitter nor cynical—he is rarely even what I should call tragical.” (James.) His achievements inspired future writer such as Henry James, Faulkner, and Melville, thereby forming an important American literary historical writing tradition. He cleverly makes symbolism and romanticism bond together and makes his work interesting and enjoyable

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