This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Setting In The Scarlet Letter

708 words - 3 pages

Sarah Parr The Setting in the Scarlet Letter 11/26/13
In Boston, Massachusetts during the late 1600s, the Calvinism is one of the most important parts of the assumptions and values of society. As Calvinists, the Puritans in The Scarlet Letter base their political system largely on religion, creating a theocracy which influences the standard equality between crime and sin. There is no separation between church and state, thus the two are blurred into one, affecting the thoughts and expectations of the society in the novel.
The most important reason for the setting to be what it is, is because The Scarlet Letter revolves around adultery. Today, most people consider adultery a sin, but not something one would get the death penalty for. However, at the beginning of the novel, one gossiping Puritan woman who is viewing Hester’s punishment says, “It would be greatly for the public behoof if we women, being of mature age and church-members in good repute, should have the handling of such malefactresses as this Hester Prynne,” which suggests that the average Puritan thinks that death is fairer than the mere task of wearing the scarlet letter for the rest of Hester’s life. It also shows how the theocracy, along with its rulers from the church and the state government, like Reverend Dimmesdale and Governor Bellingham, influence the public’s judgement of Hester’s passionate sin of committing adultery to be very harsh and without merciful understanding.
Another reason that the setting is essential in this novel is because Hester’s thinking process, when her illegitimate child, Pearl, is at the impressionable age of seven, is extremely unorthodox and feministic. “In all her intercourse with society, however, there was nothing that made her feel as if she belonged to it... She stood apart from mortal interests, yet close beside them, like a ghost that revisits the familiar fireside, and can no longer make itself seen or felt,” shows how Hester’s view of Puritan society began to change, yet because of the promises that Hester...

Find Another Essay On The Setting in the Scarlet Letter

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter Essay

564 words - 2 pages In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author presents three symbols that all reinforce the main idea of the novel. The main idea that reoccurred throughout the novel is that people don’t have to let their mistakes or circumstances determine who they are or what they become; it’s all in how one interprets life. Many symbols may seem as just an ordinary character or coincidental object to some readers, but the symbols have a deeper

Symbolism in the scarlet letter Essay

567 words - 3 pages Symbolism In The Scarlet LetterPicture this, you just finish a book and you think to your self, what did it mean? Well, if you are lucky they book symbolized something. Without symbols, writing is just an organized mass of meaningless words. Symbolism in writing is the deepness and hidden meaning in a piece of work. The novel "The Scarlet Letter" written by Nathaniel Hawthorne has many symbols entwined into it, making it very captivating story

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

1270 words - 5 pages Symbolism can be defined as a figure, character, or object that is used to represent complex or abstract ideas. By expressing an idea in the form of an image, the reader can visualize the concept more concretely. The old expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” applies to symbolism as the author creates a visual representation of ideas. The use of symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter helps to illuminate the overall

Romanticism in "The Scarlet Letter"

612 words - 2 pages A Scarlet RomanceIt is the year 1644, Boston Massachusetts, and the stage is set for one of the most famous romance novels of our time. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne set a genre standard for American Romanticism, with an intrinsic love of nature, sense of freedom of imagination and emotion, and the low regard Hawthorne holds for organized religion and all that it entails. In his novel, Hawthorne builds on the standards of

Children in the Scarlet Letter

846 words - 4 pages Pearl and the other Puritan children have a huge role in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Pearl is displayed as very different from any of the other children in the book. The attitudes of the children tell the reader a lot about the lives of the Puritans. The story emphasizes that children were to be seen but not heard however, Hester chooses to let Pearl live a full and exciting life. Hester does not restrict pearl or hide her from anyone or

Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

916 words - 4 pages Symbolism in the Scarlet LetterSymbolism in the Scarlet Letter Abstract: The Scarlet Letter is the first symbolic novel in America playing a very important role in studying symbolism in American literature. Nathaniel Hawthorne used symbolism through this work to imply his opinions and hopes about Puritanism. This article aims to study two main symbols and some inconspicuous symbols in The Scarlet Letter.Key Words: Symbolism; Puritanism

Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

916 words - 4 pages Symbolism in the Scarlet LetterSymbolism in the Scarlet Letter Abstract: The Scarlet Letter is the first symbolic novel in America playing a very important role in studying symbolism in American literature. Nathaniel Hawthorne used symbolism through this work to imply his opinions and hopes about Puritanism. This article aims to study two main symbols and some inconspicuous symbols in The Scarlet Letter.Key Words: Symbolism; Puritanism

Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

726 words - 3 pages The Scarlet Letter makes a great example of the result of adultary and the following problems through the rising action of the two main characters Hester and Dimsdale. Hester is able to aproach her sins and work towards the problems and is rewarded with coming to peace with her past. Dimsdale, on the other side, weighted with the guilt for what he has done slides go into despair without hope of recovery. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter

Symbols in The Scarlet Letter

1490 words - 6 pages Symbols in "The Scarlet Letter" In The Scarlet Letter, symbols appear everywhere. Hawthorne uses several different concrete objects to represent something of deeper meaning. Among these symbols is the scarlet letter "A" itself. It is made of red cloth and beautifully embroidered. It is a literal symbol of the sin of adultery. The letter "A" appears in several places and several forms. It is the letter that appears on Hester's heart that she

Signs in The Scarlet Letter

791 words - 4 pages different signs such as the “A” and the scaffold help accompany the reader in understanding each character. Through Hawthorne’s writing, the reader gains a deeper meaning of the story, and that is achieved through signs. Signs in American literature are very important, as shown in The Scarlet Letter, and can either guide or confuse the reader. A sign is defined as something that stands for something else. For example, a stop sign is used to show

Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

1206 words - 5 pages In the novel "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne symbolism is used to represent the evolution of the characters primarily that of Hester Prynne. Two of these symbols as they are used repeatedly create underlying truths telling their own story of growth and understanding as sunshine and the letter "A" bring to light who Hester Prynne truly is. The first and perhaps the most obvious use of symbolism in the novel follows the progression

Similar Essays

Symbols Setting The Scene In "The Scarlet Letter" By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1808 words - 7 pages One might say that symbols are the most important things in a story, and that they unlock the secrets of a novel. Hawthorne, in The Scarlet Letter, uses many symbols to represent different things. Some symbols represent the same thing. The letter "A" has many meanings, each character has their own meanings, and even the different parts of nature are symbols. Also, apart from providing structure for the novel, each scaffold scene conveys

The Letter A In The Scarlet Letter

606 words - 2 pages comes to bear a new meaning, able. In the thirteenth chapter of this book, Hawthorne comes out and in the third person states "the scarlet letter had not done its office." Hester has gone beyond the letter of the law and done everything asked of her. She becomes quite a popular seamstress, heralded all over the townof Boston for her work. She herself wears only drab clothing of ordinary clothing, punishing herself with humility. There is only one

Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter Essay

1832 words - 8 pages Cursed with the permanent mark of adultery upon her bosom, Hester Prynne, the main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book, The Scarlet Letter, faces many hardships and disgrace. Referencing these hardships, Hawthorne portrays the scarlet letter as the forbidden mark of adultery. Upon first meeting Hester, the scarlet letter is a symbol for adultery and disgrace. As the story progresses, the scarlet letter evolves into a symbol of

Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter Essay 2319 Words

2319 words - 9 pages Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter "The common definition says that a symbol is a sign or token of something… We take symbols like these pretty much for granted. They are a part of everyday experience. In literature, matters are a little more complicated. Literary symbols usually don’t have instantly recognizable meanings. Rather they take their meanings from the work of which they are part" ("The Scarlet Letter" 8). An example of