The use of symbolism in the scarlet letter

Hester is such a symbol. At night and always with the physician, the letter is associated with darkness and evil; in the other associations, it is a part of nature, passion, lawlessness, and imagination.

It also seems to be, at times, the light of truth and grace. The forest is also a symbolic place where witches gather, souls are signed away to the devil, and Dimmesdale can "yield himself with deliberate choice. When Hester tells him that the ship for Europe leaves in four days, he is delighted with the timing.

Evil, in its most poisonous form, is found in the carefully plotted and precisely aimed revenge of Chillingworth, whose love has been perverted.

All along, Hester felt there was this redeemable nature in her daughter, and here she sees her faith rewarded.

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

But it also results in knowledge—specifically, in knowledge of what it means to be human. Pearl of courseis the living embodiment of the scarlet letter. Yet, the very thing that makes Dimmesdale a symbol of the secret sinner is also what redeems him.

Many years later, when Hester returns and voluntarily takes up the scarlet letter again, it has become, for her and others, a symbol of grace: Reading on The Scarlet Letter. Every so often, sunshine flickers on the setting. Instead, certain items, colors, and references gather associations.

Darkness is always associated with Chillingworth. It represents the sin of the person standing upon it and it shows the Puritan way of dealing with sin.

Another one we see early in the novel, at about the same time we see Hester wearing the scarlet letter for the first time in public, is the scaffold on which she stands after walking out of the prison.

These qualities of strength and independence set her apart—as does her love of beauty, since we meet the Puritans as a crowd of "bearded men, in sad-coloured garments and grey steeple-crowned hats.

The Scarlet Letter

This might get a little complicated, so take it slow. The Bible begins with the story of Adam and Eve, who were expelled from the Garden of Eden for eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

As a result of their knowledge, Adam and Eve are made aware of their humanness, that which separates them from the divine and from other creatures. Here the sun shines on Pearl, and she absorbs and keeps it. At various times, it symbolizes adultery, sin, hard work, skill, charity, righteousness, sacredness, and, of course, grace.

It is a place where one goes morally astray.

Symbolism and Imagery in The Scarlet Letter

It is symbolic of the sin that she has committed and even though she does not at any stage think herself to be a sinner, it constantly reinforces the Puritan belief in the Original Sin, the breaking of the Seventh Commandment, to the community.

Dimmesdale, who should love Pearl, will not even publicly acknowledge her. The letter showcases her talent and artistry, skills that allow her to make a living as a single parent in Puritan Boston. Even as the beadle — an obvious symbol of the righteous Colony of Massachusetts — proclaims that the settlement is a place where "iniquity is dragged out into the sunshine," the colony, along with the Reverend Mr.

But Pearl reminds her mother that the sun will not shine on the sinful Hester; it does shine, however, when Hester passionately lets down her hair. In closing, Hawthorne uses several symbols to portray themes and ideas in this novel. Because God has control over nature, He is happy with them.

We become like the Puritans, only able to interpret things in one way. Hester plans to skip town and go back to Europe with Dimmesdale.

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. He never tells in many words what the symbols stands for. Pearl keeps pestering her mother about the meaning and significance of the symbol, thus, torturing her with incessant reminders of her moral trespass.

The Puritan village with its marketplace and scaffold is a place of rigid rules, concern with sin and punishment, and self-examination.

Inside the good minister, however, is a storm raging between holiness and self-torture. Likewise, colors — such as red, gray, and black — play a role in the symbolic nature of the background and scenery. The Scarlet Letter The most important symbol is scarlet letter itself.Get an answer for 'Why does Nathaniel Hawthorne use symbolism in the novel?why does he use symbolism instead of other literary devices.' and find homework help for other The Scarlet Letter.

A summary of Themes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Scarlet Letter and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Symbolism and Imagery in The Scarlet Letter The scarlet letter is a Romance which has constant interaction between the real and the imaginative.

It is through symbolism and imagery that Hawthorne tells his tale of Hester Prynne’s sin and her punishment.

Hawthorne has a perfect atmosphere for the symbols in The Scarlet Letter because the Puritans saw the world through allegory. For them, simple patterns, like the meteor streaking through the sky, became religious or moral interpretations for human events.

(Click the symbolism infographic to download.) The Black Man is a euphemism for Satan in this book: Hester considers the scarlet letter A to be the Black Man's mark, and Pearl wonders aloud if the The Forest and the Wilderness. The scarlet letter symbolizes all those things that we already said, but it also symbolizes the danger of thinking symbolically.

If we say that something—like Pearl, or the letter—is a symbol that represents one thing and nothing more, then we lose life's complexity.

The use of symbolism in the scarlet letter
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