Essay On Literary Devices In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

499 Words2 Pages

Literary Devices in The Scarlet Letter Literary devices are often used to capture a reader’s attention in a text. Nathaniel Hawthorne used many different types of literary devices in his book The Scarlet Letter. He uses symbolism to give hidden meaning to elements in the story, conflict to make the story interesting, and allusion to make references to historical events (ex. biblical references). While reading The Scarlet Letter, the literary devices did not jump out at me, but now as I reflect upon them they help me understand the book well. Literary devices can make a passage have a whole different meaning. 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). To me the “A” symbolizes hard work, morality, and poise. Hester came a long way in the Puritan town. In this passage we see conflict over and over again between all of the characters. Reverend Dimmesdale says …show more content…

There is an example of an allusion in The Scarlet Letter- “The walls were hung round with tapestry, said to be from the Goblin looms, and, at all events, representing the Scriptural story of David and Bathsheba, and Nathan the prophet” (Hawthorne 84). This example of allusion is a biblical reference to when David had an affair with a woman named Bathsheba while her husband was sent to war. A guy in the bible named Nathan knew about David’s secret affair and threatened to tell Bathsheba’s husband. The situation in The Scarlet Letter is very similar to this biblical

Open Document