Symbolism Of Sin In The Scarlet Letter And The Minister's Black Veil

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Similarly, Hawthorne uses symbolism of sin in The Scarlet Letter and “The Minister’s Black Veil” to display the negative effects of guilt and sin. Hawthorne uses symbolism in The Scarlet Letter to convey a deeper meaning about the sins the characters have committed. Symbols such as the ‘A’ Hester Prynne is forced to wear on her chest, and the mysterious mark on Dimmesdale’s chest are used to represent the sins the characters committed. When the Puritans of Hester’s community look at her, all they see is sin due to the red letter on her chest. Hawthorne describes this scene as, “Thus the 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…show more content…
This constant reminder of sin negatively impacts the one wearing the object because it causes other characters to judge and act evil towards them. Derek Maus discusses Hawthorne's use of symbolism throughout his work and claims that Hawthorne values the use of symbolism because it allows for him to deliver a message in a non traditional way (Maus 43). Hawthorne uses symbolism in his works because it allows for him to display the negative effects of guilt in sin in a way that will cause readers to become more engaged. Symbolism shows the negative effects of guilt and sin in both The Scarlet Letter and “The Minister’s Black Veil” because in both stories the main character faces hardship simply because of an object they wear that has no other meaning than to represent sin. Although these items were only symbols, the characters wearing them faced harsh judgement because of what they
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