The Scarlet Letter Light Analysis

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Within chapters sixteen to twenty-four, light and dark function as symbols with very specific meaning. The light generally represents “good,” as well as the approval of God and happiness. The darkness, however, is associated with “bad,” as well as concealment of sin and even evil. The two are pitted against one another throughout the novel. Within the assigned chapters, the light and the dark illustrate conflicts between characters as and add to the importance of specific events. For example, Hawthorne uses the change from dark to light to illustrate a change in Hester when she removes her cap along with the letter in chapter eighteen. Previously, all of Hester’s ‘life’ or youth had been taken away, but the light shining down in the forest as she removes the letter and her cap seem to reverse, leaving her the beautiful woman she was before her sin. The forest is described as, “…with a sudden …show more content…

Consequently, the light shining almost immediately cheers up the gloomy mood of the scene and makes room for a happier side. Conflict wise, the dark almost always stands for Roger Chillingworth. Even Pearl, a small child, sees the darkness within him. She refers to him as the “Black Man,” (Hawthorne 181). The rest of the village refers to Satan as the “Black Man,” because of urban legends. However, Pearl is one of the few people other than her mother who sees the true evil inside of him. Chillingworth’s actions further poison Dimmesdale’s already rotting soul as revenge consumes him. The “darkness,” represents how revenge drove a man from plain anger to having a demented soul that would be unrecognizable to his past self. In conclusion, the light and the dark work as several common archetypes to form a complex series of comparisons throughout The Scarlet Letter of which allow reader’s to read farther into characters and their

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