Colors are important when one is describing a feeling, character, and setting. They can be used to assume a person 's personality when the author takes the time to describe the color of someone’s clothes. An author can also create certain feelings about the day or night in the scene by the colors they use to describe it. Symbolism is the heart of literature and color is one type of symbolism that is used. In the novel, “The Scarlet Letter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne describes the characters personalities by using a variety of colors.
Hawthorne takes full use of colors to describe each character in the Scarlett Letter. Hester is associated with dim colors. She is an outcast for so long, has hidden away her beauty, and liveliness. She clothes herself in gray attires that nearly hide her from anyone’s sight. Hawthorne quotes, “On this public holiday, as on all other occasions, for seven years past, Hester was covered in a garment of coars...
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... one feels as if it is the best way Hawthorne could have portrayed Pearl. Hawthorne also snuck in a hint of darkness into Pearls character when she states …“her wild, bright, deeply black eyes”. This gives a reminder as to how Pearl was conceived regardless of her positive persona.
Hawthorne uses reds, darkness, and light, to express character 's emotions and the state of their spirit. Red is passion and sin but can also represet warmth and anger. Darkness represents a poor state with self-denial, as well as representing evil.
Light symbolizes a state of enlightenment and a refreshed spirit, as well as purity. The color symbols in The Scarlet Letter help to transfer certain themes and ideas to the reader, as they are easily recognized and identified. Hawthorne 's symbolism shows the simplest colors can be transformed into bold symbols and can be given meaning.
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