Often times, we interpret a novel at its face value, only reading the text on the page instead of really delving into the true meaning behind that text. Since that meaning is not explicitly stated, different readers can develop different interpretations of the same text. This idea of repeated hidden meanings throughout a novel is classified as a motif, and most of the time motifs are used in order to subtly convey ideas to the reader through seemingly plain text. In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses motifs and symbols to convey subtle ideas, one example being his harsh criticism of Puritan culture. One of the most prominent motifs in his novel is the Black Man, an imaginary being who Hawthorne equates to the devil. Hawthorne employs
The Scarlet Letter, a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, contains the motif of a red letter “A” that brings the story to life. The scarlet letter is an embroidered symbol which incorporates power in the novel. The scarlet letter upon Hester's bosom evolved and developed from something negative to something positive; from Hester, the villagers, Pearl, and Hawthorne, the views of the scarlet letter changed drastically.
Scarlet “A” In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter there is no other vigorous personality like Hester Prynne. Hester was made out to be a shameful person who would never be pardoned of her sin. Hester is an empty puritan woman who commits adultery with a minister and has a daughter from her deceitful union. She goes through wearying passage from sin to salvation, but always seem to find her identity.
However, as you dig deeper, you will see Hawthorne’s true purpose for writing the novel. In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses irony to criticize the Puritan ideals. Hester’s Scarlet “A” is used to show how imperfect the Puritans are. The narrator describes Hester’s scarlet letter when he says: “On the breast of her gown,
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.
Society had now begun to think that Hester had served her punishment. Although Hester was not accepted society before, she began to see the positive aspects of the community and was able continue on with her own life which eventually led to her being recognition of good character. Eventually recognizing her sin she had become a symbol of the Puritan faith, and eventually found her place in the community in a positive way. In The Scarlet Letter, the whole period of time the letter "A" was embroidered on her clothing it only represented one ideology, which was adultery. However, as time continues forward the community begins to finally start accepting her again, through her positive actions and influences, the letter "A" starts to represent a more positive ideology.
In the beginning the scarlet letter represented adultery and shame, but then the A represented “able.” Hester Prynne showed people that greatness can come out of huge mistake. One bad chapter does not mean your story is over. Willingly, Hester wanted to pick herself up again and move on with her life and eventually people noticed that. They began to respect her and think of her as strong and commendable
The scarlet letter begins its role as a symbol in the novel by bearing a penal meaning, as a punishment for an adulterer. The scarlet letter initially manifested itself as the embodiment of sin. If the sacred command, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” did not exist the rest of Hester’s existence would completely change and the sin would disappear. But alas, for Hester the strict puritan community forces her to wear the scarlet letter. Consequently, she must bear with her the association between the ornate fabric has: “The magistrates are God-fearing gentlemen, but merciful overmuch,—that is a truth," added a third autumnal matron.
Even though the Puritans may have designated the letter as a representation of sin, Hester’s renewed sense of pride does not want society to define the A for her. Rather Hester wants to define it herself and by doing so she develops responsibility and power over her own actions. Because Hester has the power to change who she is, she also has the power to change what the Scarlet Letter represents. By letting the letter be “embroidered with gold thread” readers are able to see how for Hester sin is not something to be fearful of; furthermore, it allows one to see how Hester has developed into an independent individual who accepts who she is and the situation she is presented with. Hester’s lover unfortunately
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a novel that focuses on sin in the Puritan society. Hawthorne revolves the theme around the four main characters Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Roger Chillingworth., and Pearl. Hester Prynne is forced to wear the scarlet letter ‘A’ after committing adultery against her husband Roger Chillingworth, with the minister Arthur Dimmesdale. As a result an odd child is born.
There are various examples of symbolism in The Scarlet Letter, but one of them wraps the whole story together: the meaning of the scarlet letter A. In this passage, Hester Prynne wears an embroidered letter A on her bosom as punishment. At first the A stood for “adulterer”, but the townspeople later gained respect for her and said “Such helpfulness was found in her-so much power to do and to sympathize-that many people refused to interpret the scarlet “A” by its original significance. They said it meant ‘Able’” (Hawthorne 107).
At first it is a symbol of Hester’s adultery and sin, but as she grows up in character and individuality, the scarlet letter starts to convey another meaning as well. “A” which once referred to adultery, now refers to “Able”, as Hester being able to go through all obstacles and difficulties in her life away from the society. But the scarlet letter “A” may also stand for an “Angel”, and even Dimmesdale refers to her as an angel twice in the novel. “The angel and the apostle of the coming must be a woman, indeed, but lofty, pure and beautiful, and wise, moreover, not through dusky grief, but the ethereal medium of joy. ”The letter embroidered in gold represents a symbol of her golden triumph over the society and their binderies that meant to punish
Hawthorne described three things in The Scarlet Letter. Sin, guilt, and redemption. Hawthorne uses people to symbolize them. Hester Prynne was one. Hawthorne allows the reader to get a better understanding by using biblical references.
Adultery, Able, Angel. The Scarlet Letter is about a woman who can take a symbol that means one thing and changes it to mean the complete opposite. In this novel a woman named Hester Prynne had committed a sin of adultery and is forced to wear the letter “A” on her chest in remembrance of her sin. The story takes place in the mid 17th century in a Puritan town of Boston. The rest of the story is based upon trying to find out who the father of Hester 's baby is.