Hawthorne uses multiple symbols in The Scarlet Letter, symbolism is a literary device that uses symbols to represent ideas. In this novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the symbolic significance of the Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth to contribute to the theme of guilt. To begin, Hawthorne uses the Scarlet Letter to portray the theme of guilt. In this scene Hester Prynne is walking onto the scaffold for the punishment of the sin she has committed. The women in the crowd are talking about how Hester deserves a worse punishment.
The Scarlet Letter: Hidden Symbolism "It may serve, let us hope, to symbolize some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow" (Hawthorne 60). The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, although normally perceived as lifeless, is one of the most relevant and timeless novels. According to Lei, in the literary world, it is even largely considered one of the first symbolic novels published in America. The depth of symbolism found throughout the novel is truly astounding. “Throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter, the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a few key symbols to represent major themes in the book” (Erich Musick).
First in The Scarlet Letter, we were taught by Hawthorne about overcoming the initial stereotypes and biases of specific characters in the novel including himself. The author uses slow transitions in the novel to change our The view and his portrayal of Hester. He also uses Hester’s character to compare and bring attention to himself. Hester in particular, is first described in the novel by Hawthorne as deviant
In the novel the Scarlet Letter the author Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes setting, allusion, characterization and symbolism to support his theme of independence of a women who was able to keep her dignity even when people were constantly putting her down. The world was not such an accepting place in the 1850’s, and Hawthorne ingeniously used this to his advantage to show how people did not accept Hester for her act of adultery (Hawthorne VVI-XI). The book was set in the puritan era which is known for being one of the most religious time periods of today. Hawthorne wisely chose to make the village an extremely religious and pure place because it would help with the idea that Hester was on her own because she sinned Hawthorne claims that the village is
This is the society Hawthorne portrays in The Scarlet Letter. Hester Prynne faced one such discipline, in the form of a scarlet ‘A’ for adultery. She is forced to wear this letter upon her clothing, and made a social exile. Despite these harsh punishments, Hawthorne believed that keeping the sin to yourself was even worse. Hawthorne proved through Hester and Dimmesdale that hiding sin, above all, has a negative effect on the sinner; and that revealing sin will free you.
While Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter certainly tells a compelling story, the novel also acts as a psychological study of sorts; delving deep into the minds of complex and troubled individuals. Each main character; Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth, is confronted with their own predicament to which they all react distinctively. Their responses to Hester and Dimmesdale’s sin are constructed by their own distorted perceptions of the world due to the mental illnesses they are all troubled by. Each character’s method of retaliating, coping, or succumbing indirectly reveals the illogical patterns within their mind. In Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, each character faces unique mental afflictions, as Hester battles clinical depression, Dimmesdale
Despite its demeaning purpose, the scarlet letter ultimately had a positive impact on Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s timeless classic The Scarlet Letter. Although the scarlet letter was meant to mark Hester for her sinful acts and announce them to the world, she never lets herself be defined by the letter on her dress. She even utilizes her needle skills to decorate the A, which is “surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread” (50). Even though Hester has been made to wear the scarlet letter, she makes the best of it and turns it into something beautiful, showcasing her artistic talent. Even when she is standing on the scaffold in front of everyone, facing public humiliation, “her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy
The novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne demonstrates a conflict between social and individual values that is stressed through the theme of appearance vs reality. Hawthorne’s novel projects a tension that fulfills the purpose of obfuscating the truth. He explores this issue chiefly through his characterization, including the characterization of his heroine, Hester Prynne. Throughout the novel, Hester encounters a barrage of disrespect and cruelty. Her own people shun her because she falls in love and bears her child through an affair with Dimmesdale.
Throughout America's bestselling writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter, we learn about the fascinating main characters. Amongst this characters, there's Hester Prynne, the protagonist and the wearer of the scarlet letter that gives the book its title. And there's Pearl, Hester's young illegitimate daughter with a mischievous spirit and an ability to perceive things that others do not. Roger Chillingworth, who's Hester's husband in disguise and our last main character
This acceptance is what results to her living a more rewarding life at the end of the novel. The symbolism of the A transformed from adultery, to acceptance, and finally to something that made her, to an extent, more powerful in the end. She is helpful and has an ability to help people. The theme is evident in the novel, The Scarlet Letter when Hester’s life is fulfilled. One must be able to understand, that without the acceptance of ones’ own flawed human nature, one is unable to live a satisfied life.