Essay On Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

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A major literary device is symbolism; many established authors use symbolism to reinforce their main theme. In the anti-transcendental novel, The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the symbolism of the scarlet letter changes throughout the novel. The symbol of the scarlet letter A is established to reinforce the main theme of those who accept flawed human nature live a satisfied life. The theme is proven by the transformation of the scarlet letter A. In the beginning of the novel, the A represents the major punishment of adultery to Hester. This is when the A represents her sin and the expected life-long onus. As the story goes on, the letter A begins to change its meaning to show acceptance by Hester and the townspeople.…show more content…
The purpose is to represent the sin and guilt that she must withhold due to her act of adultery. The symbolism of the letter represents the sin that will always be involved with her life and affects the way that people perceive her. As Hester stands on the scaffolding, “she ha[s] fortified herself to encounter the stings and venomous stabs of public contumely, wreaking itself in every variety of insult[,]” (Hawthorne 10). This supports the start the guilt that the sin is beginning to cause her, and the way that the people of the town stare and judge Hester. As Hester begins to understand the destiny that the church created for her, the reader is reminded, by an onlooking townsman, that “the ignominious letter [will] be engraved upon [Hester’s] tombstone,” (10) reminding her that the sin will never leave her. The symbolism of the scarlet letter A in the beginning of The Scarlet Letter presents to readers the pressure that Hester undergoes when assigned to wear the scarlet letter A. The only way that Hester is able to begin to accept her true destiny, and be able to make a life for herself, is to accept her true, flawed human

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