The use of the vibrant color red is used throughout the book The Scarlet Letter due to the fact that the color red is associated with "passionate love, seduction, violence, danger, anger, and adventure." (Color Matters). The Scarlet Letter is a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel where the main character Hester Prynne commits adultery and is condemned to wear a scarlet letter A. Nathaniel Hawthorne's unique use of symbols is evident throughout the book as he gives simple everyday things, like the letter A, a rose bush, and the colors black and red, moral meaning to help the reader comprehend the content of the story. The letter A Hester Prynne is ordered to wear is meant to be a form of public shame.
Symbolism is a great literary device used to enhance a piece of writing by taking a particular object and giving it an entirely different meaning that is much more significant than what the object actually is. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, written in 1850, the author uses many symbols throughout the book to reflect Dark Romantic themes and conflicts and to show the Puritan way of life. Three important symbols that Hawthorne refers to repeatedly throughout the book are the scaffold, the scarlet letter, and Pearl, being a child of nature. Scaffolds in a Puritan society were used to publically embarrass sinners and criminals. This was first seen in The Scarlet Letter in Chapters 1-3 when the protagonist Hester Prynne stood on the scaffold before the people of the Puritan society.
The sin and punishment, in the novel, demonstrates Hawthorne’s thoughts on Puritan beliefs. Hawthorne’s story presented an accurate representation of society at that time and provides the perfect foundation to express his criticism of Puritan ideals and beliefs. The symbol of the scarlet letter, worn by women that commit adultery, was manipulated by Hawthorne to question the Puritan world, and whether their faith and punishments are just and fair. The scarlet letter was supposed to shame the women that wore them, but with Hester Prynne the letter became a symbol of her courage and resilience. By giving his heroine the courage to stand and to face her punishment, Hawthorne pointed out that some of the Puritan punishments were harsh and unnecessary.
The Scarlet Letter, shows how badly people were treated for committed a sin in that time period. The main character, Hester Prynne committed lechery and in puritan society, which was very closely related to religion breaking the commandment that forbid adultery earned a very big punishment. It was even worse for Hester because she ended up conceiving a child. One way Hester was shunned by people was by having to wear the scarlet letter that would bring her public shame. Hester knew that because of the letter “young and pure would be taught to look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast,—at her, the child of honorable parents,—at her, the mother of a babe, that would hereafter be a woman, —at her, who had once been innocent, —as the figure, the body, the reality of sin”
The Consequences of Sin Sin is defined as “an offense against religious or moral law”. The idea of sin and being ostracized for your sins was extremely relevant during the Puritan period when religion was the greatest component of daily life. The Puritans believed that they had entered a covenant with God and therefore any sin, such as crime and adultery were considered a breach of their covenant with God. This view led to the church punishing people who committed sin in order for God not to punish the church as a whole. The consequences and effects of sin is shown through the character development in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter.
“Ah, but,” interposed, more softly, a young wife, holding a child by the hand, “let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart.” (Hawthorne 63). The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, although normally perceived as lifeless, is one of the most relevant and timeless novels. In the literary world, it is even largely considered one of the first symbolic novels published in America. The depth of symbolism found throughout the novel was truly astounding.
In the essay, “On the Scarlet Letter,” D.H. Lawrence uses several literary devices to convey his opinion of the main character of the novel, Hester Prynne. The author manipulates each device to support his argument and persuade the reader to view Prynne in a negative way. D.H. Lawrence’s use of literary devices in a strange but alluring way successfully proves his argument. In Lawrence’s essay he uses alliteration, an indignant and mocking tone and sarcasm to express his opinion that Hester Prynne should be denounced instead of adored for her sin.
5. A common color used to describe Salem and the Puritans is gray, which represents how judgemental and strict society was. Another common color is scarlet, like in Hester’s embroidered letter. This color symbolizes embarrassment, reflecting the color of blushing cheeks, and therefore punishment. 6.
In this book, Hawthorne details an elaborate story showing the consequences of confessing sins in contrast to concealing it. A sin weighing down on you and destroying you from the inside out is a moral consequence and, the only remedy is confessing the sin. This notion can be seen in the difference between Hester and Dimmesdale with how they handled the scarlet letter and the effects of that. Hester had worn her scarlet letter out for the public to see from the very beginning. She the subject of a lot of the town’s scrutiny.
In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne establishes several essential facets of human nature. In the beginning, Hawthorne introduces death and crime as inevitable in the human condition. Yet throughout the novel, Hawthorne also highlights another essential part of human nature as a common theme: concealment. This theme is reflected by characters such as Hester and Chillingworth, but particularly by Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale, the admired minister of the Puritan community, spends years hiding that he committed adultery with Hester, and doesid so to protect the Puritans.
Hawthorne’s setting in the Scarlet Letter are also symbolic and play a huge role by having the theme stick out. The most influential symbol was the Scarlet A. The letter A in The Scarlett Letter has various meanings and is the more popular symbol in the book. The letter A is a sign of adultery, penance, and penitence. Hester’s A on her bosom brings out that she is suffering and that she is lonely.
Red is very fitting for the Scarlet Letter because red symbolizes passion, love, and seduction. These characteristics fit the Scarlet Letter to a T. 6) In Chapter 3, the last sentence is: “It was whispered, by those who peered after her, that the scarlet letter threw a lurid gleam along the dark passageway of the interior.” (Hawthorne, Pg 67). The meaning of this sentence is that some the highly religious Puritans thought the scarlet letter was brightly glowing, which they could have assume was from hellfire due to their religious beliefs. Chapter 4 1) Hawthorne describes the child to be a “type...of moral agony which Hester Prynne had borne throughout the day.”
Moreover, Edwards had a powerful impact on his puritan audience of his puritan audience because of his use of a complex figurative language in the passage. In paragraph 2, it states that “They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, which is expressed in the torments of hell”. It also states that “Is not at present very angry with them as he is with many miserable creatures now tormented in hell”. Theses quotes reveal that God power is fear so that it can shut the sinners down and destroy sinners who made him angry.
While exploring the power of love and, manipulating people 's emotions the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written on the battle of someone who was convicted of being a sinner living in a puritan society. The Scarlet Letter was a very influential novel because it was like a change in time, because it’s so different from what we see today. The story talks about Hester, who committed adultery and instead of giving her the punishment of death, she got the leeway of public humiliation. Throughout the novel the author uses characterization, tone and symbolism to help the readers better understand. First, there were the characters that helped to connect the theme sin, crime, and punishment.
Because of her crime against the Puritan society, Hester bears a scarlet “A” upon her bosom to eternally mark her with shame and agony. Hawthorne utilizes the scarlet letter as a sign of shame by stating, “In all the seven bygone years, Hester Prynne had never before been false to the symbol on her bosom. It may be that it was the talisman of a stern and severe, but yet a guardian spirit...” (149). The letter “A” is a sign of shame and allows all to identify as a evildoer; additionally, it identifies her acts of adultery and labels her as an outcast, burdening her conscience with loneliness and misery.