What Does The Flower Symbolize In The Scarlet Letter

594 Words3 Pages
Nathaniel Hawthorne describes the Puritan society of the 17th century in the novel The Scarlet Letter. He creates a story about a woman named Hester who is bound by sin to a scarlet letter “A”, for adultery. He uses symbolism to contribute to the overall theme of sin. Some symbols used include: the scarlet letter itself, a meteor, and the black blossom. To begin, Nathaniel Hawthorne introduced the symbol the scarlet letter to add to the overall theme of sin. The scarlet letter was a form of punishment that would last a lifetime. Hester Prynne, the protagonist, was forced to wear the letter “A” because she committed adultery. She had an affair with Dimmesdale, the town reverend, while she was married to Chilingsworth, and produced a baby named Pearl. Hawthorne explains, “There glimmered the embroidered letter, with discomfort in its unearthly ways. Elsewhere the token of sin.” (Hawthorne 146). In this instant Hester had worked…show more content…
The black flower was initially introduced by Hawthorne to describe the Puritan society and was later used by Chilingsworth in confrontation with Hester. Once Chilingsworth is questioned about his motives against Dimmesdale he responds with, “Let the black flower blossom as it may.” (Hawthorne 157). Sinning is promoted to continue throughout the story. Later in the same setting Chilingsworth gives another remark. Chilingsworth elaborates, “By the first step awry, thou didn’t plant the gem of evil; but since that moment, thas all been a dark necessity.” (Hawthorne 157). The initial sin will lead to many more throughout the story, contributing to the theme of sin. In his novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the symbolism of the scarlet letter, a meteor, and the black blossom to contribute to the overall theme of sin. In conclusion, the moral lesson of the story is that sin and guilt will inevitably be
Open Document