The Symbolism Of Sunlight In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Sunlight
Christine Quinn once said, “...when you come out of hiding, in whatever way you’re hiding, you get to go out into the sunlight.” The significance of sunlight is crucial to the sustainability and well-being of human life on earth. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses sunlight to symbolize happiness, and it is also used to exemplify freedom.
From the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne portrays Hester as deprived of happiness. “‘No, my little Pearl!’ said her mother; ‘though must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee’”(Hawthorne 94). Through these words, Hester explains to Pearl how she has no happiness left in her to give to her daughter. Her happiness has been taken away through her past decisions and current ignominy. Hester’s shame from her past sins has given rise to her feeling that happiness is unattainable.
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Dimmesdale continually tries to confess his sins. He even stands on the scaffold one night. “The magistrate, after a wary observation of the darkness,--into which, nevertheless, he could see but little further than he might into a mill-stone,--retired from the window”(Hawthorne 136). Dimmesdale was so close to being discovered of his sin and being set free, but the darkness blinded the woman at the window from seeing him on the scaffold. These punishments will never bring freedom to Dimmesdale because he acts in darkness where nobody can see. Bringing something into the light is what will set him free from the bondage. Also, when Hester and Pearl were in the forest together, Hester tries to put her hand in the sunlight to play with her daughter, but the sunlight refuses to shine on her because of her inward oppression and lack of
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