Realism, And Allegory In The Scarlet Letter

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In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses a blend of realism, symbolism, and allegory. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses historical settings and various themes throughout the novel as well as his psychology and the supernatural. The psychological exploration of the characters and the author’s use of realistic dialogue only adds to the realism of the novel. The most obvious symbol of the novel is the actual scarlet letter ‘A’ that Hester wears on her chest every day. A rosebush stands in front of a gloomy prison to symbolize frailty and sorrow, beauty and solitude. Hawthorne also uses Hester’s daughter, Pearl, as a symbol: Pearl is important because of her ability to provoke the adult characters in the book. She asks them pointed questions and draws their attention,…show more content…
This is already the better life” (182). They are enlightened from this meeting by seeing the truth. The truth being that they must confront society together, either the society that knows Hester’s shame or the society against Hester’s act of adultery. The letter ‘A’ that illuminates in the night sky, the night Dimmesdale stands on the scaffold represents his cowardice and self- contempt. "A light gleamed far and wide over all the muffled sky. It was doubtless caused by one of those meteors…the minister, looking upward to the zenith, beheld there the appearance of an immense letter-the letter 'A '-marked out in lines of dull red light" (152) implies that this is God 's condemnation of the two sinners, most especially Dimmesdale. Hester has already been discovered and is receiving her punishment by wearing the scarlet letter, branding her as an adulteress and keeping her socially isolated. Dimmesdale, however, hides his sin from people because he has a respective role in
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