The Symbolism Of Sin In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Scarlet Letter is a symbolical novel in which Hawthorne used few major symbols as to represent the theme of sin though this novel is capable of interpretation in various ways.
“The Scarlet Letter is so popular, generation after generation, because its beauty lies in the layers of meaning and the uncertainties of the symbols and characters” (Kirk, 2000: 7)
The most important symbol that represent the theme of sin is the Scarlet Letter A forced on Hester Prynne by the Puritans. The whole plot of this novel is revolving around this symbol as the title of the book also suggest. This is the most outstanding and visible symbol in the whole novel that is embroidered on her bosom as a mark of shame and punishment for comitting sin in a highly religious society. The persistent theme of sin that Hawthorne used adds a similarly major religious aspect that was according to the social context as Ross C. Murfin who used George Bailey Loring’s work states that :
‘a medium of faith and moral because it correctly showed the atrocity of Puritanism, which repressed the rich part in human being nature’.( 1991: 207)
It is evident that the letter ‘A’ stands for adultery but Hawthorne played brilliantly with this symbol as the representation of this symbol changes with the progress of story, as in the second chapter this letter is a pure symbol of shame and punishment as Hawthorne writes : “On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic

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