Symbolism of the Rose Bush in The Scarlet Letter

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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 bright scarlet "A" on her chest. The story begins with the pain she and her daughter Pearl were forced to endure. Throughout the years this pain and suffering grow from an awful burden she has to face, to pride and strength. Instead of walking around the town hiding her chest, she prominently displays her "A". Despite how many whispers, looks of disgust, and feelings of disgrace she experiances, she continues on with her life to the best of her ability. After all the years of hurt Hester and Pearl endured alone, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale finally reveals the secret that he was the one with which Hester committed adultery, while lying on his death bed. In the first chapter of the story a rose bush is described. One that was forced to suffer harsh weather and years of damage. Yet it survives long after all the other trees and shrubbery that once exceeded it died. Only after years of learning to adapt to its harsh surroundings does it grow to produce beautiful red roses for others to enjoy. "o... ... middle of paper ... its original habitat it presents the one who chose to harm it with the pierce of hurt from its thorns, but once the thorns are know of, caution is used when handling it. The strongest and heartiest people are those who have suffered through adversity and survived. Those people have a stronger character and are more self reliant than those sheltered from pain and suffering. Hester, Pearl, and the rose bush are all excellent examples of this. The rose bush spent years in horrible conditions to be able to one day share its beauty to the world. Pearl grew up in a life of shame, but ended up become her mother true comfort to life. Hester sinned, but she remained true to her vows, and in the end she becomes the stronger, more noble character, in the novel. Work Cited Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Tom Doherty Associates, Inc. New York, 1987.
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