Youth And Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

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Fault, Youth, and Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter
The majority of society bases their perception of an individual on wealth, appearance, name, family--an infinite number of things. What if one was told that his or her own brother, sister, best friend, or even their mom or dad was a murderer? How would he or she react? What would they do? In the classic novel, The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, he utilizes youth, fraud, and symbolism to immerse the reader into his story. His more direct use of youth and symbolism reveal that a person, no matter who they may seem to be from the outside, can be the greatest sinner of all.
Throughout The Scarlet Letter, fraud is quickly revealed through the innocence of youth. In this case, youth
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Roger Chillingworth is symbolic of the devil himself. Chillingworth is first mentioned in chapter 3, and it is noted that his shoulders are deformed. Chillingworth's shoulders are very symbolic pertaining to his twisted and quite deformed way of thinking. Richard Alleva, in his critical essay, "The Scarlet Letter" says that "Roger Chillingworth, alternates between sleepwalking and spasm but never gets a chance to define a human being." Roger finds out that Dimmesdale is the father of Pearl, and from that moment forward, Roger does not relent on achieving revenge. Even as twisted as Chillingworth's character has come to be, after learning the identity of Pearl's father, he transforms into pure evil. Pearl at a point in the book actually refers to Chillingworth as "The Black Man," which can be interpreted as the devil. This is not the only nickname that Chillingworth earned. Chillingworth also earned the name "The Leech" for similar reasons. The way that Chillingworth would look at Hester--they way his gaze was described in the book is just symbolic of Satan in every way. Early on in the book, it is learned that Hester left Chillingworth and that he never loved her (Hawthorne 27). Chillingworth also told Hester he does not seek revenge from her, but he seeks revenge from Dimmesdale. If Chillingworth never loved Hester then why…show more content…
"'Subtle, but remorseful hypocrite':Dimmesdale's Moral Character."
Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, edited by Jessica Bomarito and Russel Whitaker, vol. 158, Gale, 2006. Literature Resource Center. Accessed 22 Mar. 2017. Originally published in Studies in the Novel, vol. 25, no. 3, Fall 1993, pp. 257-271.
Alleva, Richard. "The Scarlet Letter." Commonweal, vol. 122, no. 20, 1995, p. 20+. General OneFile, Accessed 26 Mar. 2017.
Baym, Nina. "Who? The Characters." The Scarlet Letter: A Reading, Twayne, 1986, pp. 52-82.
Twayne's Masterwork Studies 1. Twayne's Authors on GVRL. Accessed 26 Mar. 2017.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter with Connections. Austin, TX, Holt, Rinehart and Winston,
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