Hawthorne uses multiple symbols in The Scarlet Letter, symbolism is a literary device that uses symbols to represent ideas. In this novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the symbolic significance of the Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth to contribute to the theme of guilt. To begin, Hawthorne uses the Scarlet Letter to portray the theme of guilt. In this scene Hester Prynne is walking onto the scaffold for the punishment of the sin she has committed. The women in the crowd are talking about how Hester deserves a worse punishment.
The Scarlet Letter: Hidden Symbolism "It may serve, let us hope, to symbolize some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow" (Hawthorne 60). The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, although normally perceived as lifeless, is one of the most relevant and timeless novels. According to Lei, 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 is truly astounding. “Throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter, the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a few key symbols to represent major themes in the book” (Erich Musick).
Previously to this passage, the sunlight would not shine on Hester when Hester was wearing the Scarlet Letter. As soon as Hester takes off the scarlet letter, a symbol of the Puritan community, her hair is described as “with at once a shadow and a light in its abundance”(186). The light is reclaiming Hester now that she has truly separated from the Puritan community. The last time that the sunlight claimed Hester in this way was when she was on the scaffold and separate from the Puritan community, however, she was not happy then. In the passage, Hester is described with words associated with light, such as “beamed”, “radiant”, and “glowing”(186).
The characters in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, are quite complex and can be onerous. After reading from other sources about Hester Prynne and Pearl; I soon began to understand them a bit better. The way they acted, spoke, decisions and choices that were made. It became easier to understand what influenced these choices or decisions. Unquestionably, one thing that had a significant impact on Hester Prynne was her punishment for adultery; having to wear the scarlet letter A.
This is the society Hawthorne portrays in The Scarlet Letter. Hester Prynne faced one such discipline, in the form of a scarlet ‘A’ for adultery. She is forced to wear this letter upon her clothing, and made a social exile. Despite these harsh punishments, Hawthorne believed that keeping the sin to yourself was even worse. Hawthorne proved through Hester and Dimmesdale that hiding sin, above all, has a negative effect on the sinner; and that revealing sin will free you.
Hester is physically and emotionally reminded of her sin, while wearing the scarlet letter "A". Wherever Hester goes, people will know who she is, and what she had done. Hester's punishment was unjust because Hester was sent to prison for committing adultery. Hester was sentenced to wear the scarlet letter "A" for the rest of her life and Hester was forced to stand on the scaffold, so she could be publicly humiliated for her sin. Although,
Let the Emotions Spill In Kate Chopin’s The Awakening protagonist Edna Pontellier is said to possess “That outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions.” In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is a character who outwardly conforms while question inwardly. Prynne is humiliated and is publicly shamed by wearing the scarlet letter upon her bosom for seven years by everyone. Going through that horrible journey she begins to question Pearl inwardly. Although some may claim that Roger Chillingworth is the best character represented by this statement, Prynne would most definitely relate more especially with the forceful marriage. In The Scarlet Letter, Prynne is a character that conforms outwardly while
Forgiveness and It’s Results In the novel The Scarlet Letter written by Hawthorne there are four main characters, Hester Prynne, Pearl Prynne, Roger Chillingworth, and Arthur Dimmesdale. They each have to come face to face with being able to forgive someone or themselves. Some were able to forgive, like Pearl Prynne but others like Roger Chillingworth could not forgive. Different outcomes occurred for each character. One Person who had to deal with forgiveness in The Scarlet Letter was Chillingworth, forgiveness was not something he was capable of doing.
But they never realized light or goodness in someone or something to do something like that. Just because a character in the book is a main character or protagonist does not mean they have always made the right choices like Hester Prynne . In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses light and darkness to show the good and evil in people. Pearl is the best character in all of The Scarlet Letter while people are all doing sinful/ horrible things while the pearl is “Like a glimmering light that comes appeared in her wild”(63). In this chapter, we are learning about pearl how she is a good girl, even though she was born from some sinful people.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, an American author during the 19th century witnessed the power of sin to wreak havoc not only to an individual but a whole community. His novel The Scarlet Letter expresses this very idea by exposing the follies of mankind and the potentially detrimental effects of sin through Hester Prynne, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth