Symbolism And Its Significance Of The Scarlet Letter Essay

Symbolism And Its Significance Of The Scarlet Letter Essay

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Discuss Hawthorne’s use of symbolism and its significance to the theme of the novel The Scarlet Letter?


Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter a tale of sin and redemption was set in the seventeenth century in the New World Boston, Massachusetts. From this, Hawthorne was able to effectively illustrate the effects of Puritanism that was found there through his characters throughout the novel. This essay will be to show how Hawthorne’s characters are affected by religion through the use of symbolism as well as its implication to the theme of the novel. In the novel, Hawthorne was able to manipulate the significance of symbols using the domino effect starting with Dimmesdale and Hester’s affair multiple times as it enabled to show development for the characters as well as their perspective.

In the novel, the colloquial idiom for the letter “A” is the Scarlet Letter. This is the letter of the heroine Hester Prynne wears in the novel, this letter. The reason as to why Hester it was compulsory for her to wear this tainted letter is for the reason that it represents the punishment for the adultery that she committed. The letter “A” comes from the novels title, this is significantly symbolic in the tale, for the reason that it representative of the humiliation and guilt that Hester suffered from. From this, the theme of sin plays a role in Hester’s life. The adultery committed by Hester was a sin the she had overtly accepted.

However, the entire town is alienating Hester as this is the consequences of the sinning, and as Hester’s sins hold opposing views, she continues to be isolated by the town from this, isolation is the result of committing a sin, and as her sins begin to be at a variance, she becomes less isolated by those a...


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...nderstands one thing yet the reader understands another. Dimmesdale portrays Hester to the readers that she is stubborn because she won 't give away the name of the father of her child.

In Conclusion, Hawthorne’s use of symbolism and literary themes are the insight represented to the readers about life in Puritanism. From this novel we learn through the use of symbolism that Dimmesdale cannot face his sins, as he is not brave enough to do so, whereas Hester accepts her punishment for sinning she does not hide from her wrong doings. Where in the end of the novel Hester’s sins are not remembered while Dimmesdale’s real punishment is the guilt that he will live forever. This is shown thorough contrast between light and darkness. Hester’s adultery sin was revealed in the light of day where Dimmesdale’s reveals his sin in the dark in the night on the scaffold.








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