Light And Dark References In The Scarlet Letter

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Why are light and dark references so prominent in The Scarlet Letter? Many quotes from the book allude to a light or dark reference for the main characters. The light and dark we see in each character is critical to the book because the references show how they are developing. This is an important theme because the light and dark references are noticeable in our own lives, and change how we live day to day as well. Light and dark imagery, alluding to the larger conflict between good and evil, is present throughout the novel in the characters of Roger Chillingworth, Pearl and Hester Prynne. The first character many will notice a change in is Roger Chillingworth. He develops from a kind and caring man to someone who is obsessed with revenge,…show more content…
Hawthorne writes, “It was only the darkened house that could contain her” (148). Alluding to the fact that Hester feels out of place everywhere but in her darkened home, this reference is one of a dark theme. It shows that the other towns-people did not show emotion towards her which causes her behaviors to change. Soon after you can find “The effect of the symbol—or, rather, of the position in respect to society that was indicated by it—on the mind of Hester Prynne herself, was powerful and peculiar” (Hawthorne 149). This shows that the symbol on Hester’s chest began to have a more powerful effect, but of a different kind. Her view of herself, along with the town and even life itself began to change. Light and dark references appear throughout the novel in the quotes dealing with Roger Chillingworth, Pearl, and Hester Prynne, and these references hint towards a larger conflict between good and evil. The references for both light and dark play a crucial role in the novel, and the characters would not be the same without them. The development of the characters’ behaviors and the development of the story come from the changes seen within the references. These references also have an effect on us including how we develop as
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