Summary: Symbolism Within The Scarlet Letter

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Symbolism Within The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne created symbolism throughout The Scarlet Letter in order to develop the theme throughout Hester’s life. Hester is portrayed as a sheltered soul, shunned from society due to her adulterous acts. The red A and her daughter, Pearl, are symbols of Hester’s shame which she bares proudly despite society's harsh judgements. Hawthorne is able to use symbolism to develop themes, characters, and analogies in the Scarlet Letter. One of the best signs of symbolism is repetition shown throughout the story. The scaffold reappears within The Scarlet Letter three times within the writing; in the beginning, midway through the writing, and towards the end. In each scenario where Hester is reunited with the scaffold, Hawthorne uses distinct similarities and differences that help enhance the meaning. Through Hawthorne’s word choice, one can clearly see the bountiful embarrassment brought by Hester being shamed on the scaffold; "a penalty, which in our days, would refer a degree of mocking infamy and ridicule, might then be interested with almost as strong a dignity as the punishment of death itself" (Hawthorne 44). The scaffold directly symbolizes emotion such as persecution and confession. Through this symbolization, Hawthorne connects and develops many other…show more content…
Red, a passionate color, represents sin within The Bible. Hester creates a red embroidered A that will depict her sin of adultery; “..I happened to place it on my breast..It seemed to me then, that I experienced a sensation not altogether physical, yet almost so, as of a burning heat; and as if the letter were not of red cloth, but red-hot iron. I shuddered, and involuntarily let it fall upon the floor.” (Hawthorne 31). This A is shown upon her breast as a symbol of her owning up to her sin and setting herself aside from the puritan society. Hawthorne uses this symbol to create a theme throughout the
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