Essay On The Color Red In The Scarlet Letter

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The use of the vibrant color red is used throughout the book The Scarlet Letter due to the fact that the color red is associated with "passionate love, seduction, violence, danger, anger, and adventure." (Color Matters). The Scarlet Letter is a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel where the main character Hester Prynne commits adultery and is condemned to wear a scarlet letter A. Nathaniel Hawthorne's unique use of symbols is evident throughout the book as he gives simple everyday things, like the letter A, a rose bush, and the colors black and red, moral meaning to help the reader comprehend the content of the story. The letter A Hester Prynne is ordered to wear is meant to be a form of public shame. In the beginning, it stands for "adulterer" and the …show more content…

Red is associated with the more passionate emotions: beauty, love, rage, and anger. Red seems to appear to show these emotions many times in this book. The emotions of rage and anger are evident in Chillingworth as Hester is observing his features, "Ever an anon, too, there came a glare of red light out of his eyes; as if the old man's soul were on fire, and kept on smoldering duskily within his breast, until, by some casual puff of passion, it was blown into a momentary flame." (Hawthorne 130). Black is associated with the more hidden emotions: hate, sin, and guilt. Hawthorne, as well as many other authors, often uses this color in nature to reflect a character's feelings. In chapter twelve, the reader sees Dimmesdale suffer through his sin and guilt on the scaffold in the darkness of the night while the town is asleep. The author also shows that Dimmesdale is afraid of the town waking up and discovering his hidden atrocity. The burden of seven years worth of hidden shame took its toll on Dimmesdale and eventually leads to his death in chapter 23. Hawthorne applies the world's views of these colors to his writing to give the reader more understanding and

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