A Summary Of Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

707 Words3 Pages
The Scarlet Letter is an excellent example of how the power of a symbol can be enough for a person to change for better or for worse. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of the main characters, Hester, is punished by wearing a scarlet letter “A” as a symbol for the sin of adultery she committed. This novel documents how a small, red symbol can affect someone and how that person changes as a result of it. Throughout the book, Hester visibly changes as a result of the scarlet letter not only mentally, but also physically. In The Scarlet Letter, the scarlet letter changes Hester not only internally changes Hester’s thoughts and actions, but also physically changes Hester’s appearance into a dark, gloomy character. One important…show more content…
For example, the narrator says, “In her [Hester] lonesome cottage, by the sea-shore, thoughts visited her, such as dared to enter no other dwelling in New England; shadowy guests, that would have been as perilous as demons to their entertainer, could they have been seen knocking at her door,” (Hawthorne 149). This quote describes the dark thoughts that Hester begins to have in her solitary home after being excluded from society after receiving the scarlet letter. These thoughts that begin to surround Hester revolve around the loneliness brought by the scarlet letter, before which she might not have had these type of thoughts because of her social status. The scarlet letter is negatively affecting the mind of Hester and her thought process. Another quote that portrays the internal change in Hester is, “Thus, Hester Prynne, whose heart had lost its regular and healthy throb, wandered without a clew in the dark labyrinth of mind: now turned aside by an insurmountable precipice; now starting back from a deep chasm. There was wild and ghastly scenery all around her, and a home and comfort nowhere.” (Hawthorne 150). Hester, in this quote, is feeling lost in her own mind which shows her internal change. The scarlet letter is manipulating the emotions of Hester Prynne and taking its toll on her mental
Open Document