How Does Nathaniel Hawthorne Use Symbols In The Scarlet Letter

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In the book, The Scarlet Letter, the author Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism to bolster the characters and to help the readers get a better understanding of them. Symbolism is used by writers to better relate to objects. Some examples of symbolism would be in chapter 7. These would have to include: Pearl/the scarlet letter, the sunlight on Governor Bellingham’s mansion, and the reflection within the suit of armor. These three examples are the most paramount to help to reveal the characters and to distribute Hawthorne’s message. Pearl is a symbol of the scarlet letter. She was born due to adultery, which is the same reason as to why Hester wears the scarlet letter A. In chapter 7, Pearl is coincidentally put into a red tunic, “...arraying her in a crimson velvet tunic … and flourishes of gold-thread” (Hawthorne 92), which makes Hester realize that she is the human version of the scarlet letter. By Hester realizing this, it shows to the reader that Pearl can be a “sin” and a “blessing” all at the same time. She is the physical sin as Pearl is the true punishment of what Hester has to deal with everyday for the rest of her life. On the other hand, she is a blessing for she gives Hester a reason to continue …show more content…

In these moments, Hawthorne displays a rougher side of Pearl by urging her mother to give it to her. In the quote, “...‘Thou must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee!’” (94), the sun is used to express happiness. By telling Pearl that she has none to give her, it implies that Pearl must find her own happiness. Although this can be taken in the literal sense, truly symbolizes happiness. Happiness cannot just be given, it must be achieved through life experiences. That is the message Hawthorne is trying to express within these two small paragraphs. Happiness is not an object that can be bought or given to, but rather

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