Often times, we interpret a novel at its face value, only reading the text on the page instead of really delving into the true meaning behind that text. Since that meaning is not explicitly stated, different readers can develop different interpretations of the same text. This idea of repeated hidden meanings throughout a novel is classified as a motif, and most of the time motifs are used in order to subtly convey ideas to the reader through seemingly plain text. In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses motifs and symbols to convey subtle ideas, one example being his harsh criticism of Puritan culture. One of the most prominent motifs in his novel is the Black Man, an imaginary being who Hawthorne equates to the devil. Hawthorne employs
In the novel the Scarlet Letter the author Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes setting, allusion, characterization and symbolism to support his theme of independence of a women who was able to keep her dignity even when people were constantly putting her down.
Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a multitude of imagery and symbolism to serve as metaphors for different themes in his novel The Scarlet Letter. The theme sin versus guilt, appears often throughout the novel. It is often accompanied by the symbol of the scarlet letter, serving as a constant reminder of the guilt each of the main characters carry, as a result of the sins they have committed.
The Scarlet Letter, a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, contains the motif of a red letter “A” that brings the story to life. The scarlet letter is an embroidered symbol which incorporates power in the novel. The scarlet letter upon Hester's bosom evolved and developed from something negative to something positive; from Hester, the villagers, Pearl, and Hawthorne, the views of the scarlet letter changed drastically. The letter “A” was intended to punish Hester Prynne, but instead, Hester made the punishment both beautiful and elaborate.
Hawthorne uses symbolism throughout the Scarlet letter to display the sin and indecency people see Hester as. The detail represents ,the deep beauty Hester has inside although most people do not see her as a beutiful women. The deep red is a representation of adultery which shows her being an oncast from society. The symbol of the letter “A” is repetitive throughout the novel and grows with Hester and overcomes this with time as people start to see her as a person again and not just a adulterer. Hester acknowledges her sin in her puritan faith but swears to secrecy on the father of Pearl.
It’s no wonder Hawthorne specifically intertwined red symbols so closely with Hester Prynne’s life, because by doing so, he allowed readers to better see her true character and her innermost feelings. This then makes it easier to understand her motivation to love Dimmesdale and Pearl, continue surviving, and secretly wish to be free. On the surface it may appear that the Scarlet Letter is
The Scarlet Letter was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the 1800s, but the book is placed in the Puritan times of the 1600s. Hawthorne is an anti-transcendentalist, which means he thinks society is good and nature is evil and humans are naturally evil. Puritanism is a very strict religion in the 1600s. If you are a Puritan you are against all earthly pleasure and your life is hell on Earth. Hawthorne uses multiple symbols in The Scarlet Letter, symbolism is a literary device that uses symbols to represent ideas. In this novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the symbolic significance of the Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth to contribute to the theme of guilt.
There are various examples of symbolism in The Scarlet Letter, but one of them wraps the whole story together: the meaning of the scarlet letter A. In this passage, Hester Prynne wears an embroidered letter A on her bosom as punishment. At first the A stood for “adulterer”, but the townspeople later gained respect for her and said “Such helpfulness was found in her-so much power to do and to sympathize-that many people refused to interpret the scarlet “A” by its original significance. They said it meant ‘Able’” (Hawthorne 107).
However, as you dig deeper, you will see Hawthorne’s true purpose for writing the novel. In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses irony to criticize the Puritan ideals. Hester’s Scarlet “A” is used to show how imperfect the Puritans are. The narrator describes Hester’s scarlet letter when he says: “On the breast of her gown,
Throughout the passage from The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses Hester’s baby, Pearl, to illuminate the theme of beauty in a dark place. Once released from prison, Hester, an adulterer, becomes a public spectacle. Through this hard time, Hester has her daughter Pearl to soothe her and to bring her strength and hope for a better future. By using vivid imagery and juxtaposition, Hawthorne depicts Pearl as Hester’s happiness, light, and beauty during a sad and lonely time.
While reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, it is obvious that he uses a lot of symbolism throughout his writing to give the readers a deeper understanding of the Puritans and their views in these times. In this book, the community forces Hester Prynne to wear a scarlet letter on her chest to show her abashment for committing adultery and having a child, Pearl. However, Pearl is actually used as a symbol throughout this book to represent the physical embodiment of Hester’s sin, the repercussions of her breaking the law, and an unworldly being in the usual strict Puritan society. In the beginning of the book, Hawthorne uses Pearl as a way to constantly remind Hester of her sin and as a link between the secret relationship of Hester
In Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen, of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester recognizes her true hatred of Chillingworth just before she finds Pearl, playing at the beach, and creating a green letter A on her own chest out of seaweed. Later, Hester goes to hopefully “run into” Dimmesdale in the forest to reveal to him the truth about Chillingworth’s identity. Pearl comes along, and as they wait, she curiously asks her mother about the Black Man. When Pearl sees Dimmesdale’s figure appear in the distance, she asks whether the approaching person is in fact the Black Man himself, which Hester rejects. Pearl, however, ponders if Dimmesdale clutches his heart, as he does, because the Black Man has left his mark on him, similar to how the
The meaning of the scarlet letter and the way people view Hester changes throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The scarlet letter was originally suppose to represent adultery and was there to show everyone the sin Hester Prynne had committed. Hester had to