Summary Of Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

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Symbols, as we look around we will find that there are many symbolic things that are around us, but what is symbolism though? Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. In the Scarlet Letter the author Hawthorne uses a great deal of symbolism, from Pearls name, to the letter A, light, darkness, weeds, and roses. All these ideas go much deeper than the plain surface. Throughout this novel these examples of symbolism will be discussed to a deeper meaning to understand what they really stand for.
In this novel the daughter of Hester goes by the name Pearl. In the Bible there is a story about a man that wanted this beautiful jewel. The man sold all of his possession just to obtain this pearl. For Hester this is the same, although,
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Pearl also represents goodness, light, and pureness. Hester knows that Pearl is an insightful little girl and she at he's on to what the townsfolk could not. "Doth he love us?" she asks her mom. "Will he go back with us, hand in hand, we three together, into the town?"(Hawthorne 318).
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Throughout the course of the Scarlet the letter the letter A keeps popping up, but what could the A stand for? The A in this book stands for three things, Adultery, Angel, and Abel. The first A stands for adultery. Adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not his or her spouse. This is sin that Hester has committed with Dimmesdale.
The punishment for her committing this sin is that Hester has to wear the letter A for the rest of her life so that everyone may know what she has done. The second meaning for the A is Angels.
"But did your reverence hear of the portent that was seen last night? A giant red letter in the sky
—the letter A, which we interpret to stand for Angel."(Hawthorne 238). The towns people thought the meteor was God making Governor Winthrop an angel. The last interpretation of
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The Black Man, weeds, the forest, and Hester. Even though Hester represented light she also represents darkness during some points through the story. Hester was once a beautiful young lady but once she was forced to put her hair up in a bun, dress basically,
SCARLET LETTER Porter 3 and wear the A you could see the darkness take over the light in her because she could no longer show her beauty. During the times when Hester and Dimmesdale are in the forest there is a mention of a Black Man. It's believed that the Black man was Roger Chillingworth who is Satan-like.
Chillingworth is represented as Satan, who is evil and full of sin. Weeds symbolize evil and sin.
Weeds grow through the hearts of sinners. The forest symbolizes darkness because the townspeople see the forest as a dark place where the devil dances and where the witches go. Townspeople also believe that no civilized Christian would ever go into the forest.
There were many symbols throughout this novel and only a few were covered. Throughout the course of this novel we learned the symbolic value of Pearl's name, the letter A, light, darkness, weeds, and roses. Things aren't always as they seem, we can always go much
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