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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 is a necessity in writing and the Scarlet Letter is a prime example of symbolism at it best.Much of Hawthorne's symbolism is difficult to find. Some symbols are obvious. At the beginning of the book, Hawthorne describes the prison as " the black flower of ...view middle of the document...

The most important symbol throughout the whole book is of course the Scarlet Letter "A" worn by Hester Prynne. The "A" initially symbolizes the crime of Adultery but through her good acts and charity the "A" comes to symbolize so much more. Take for instance, Able. The "A" appears in other places then on Hester's chest. It shows itself in the night sky to reverend Dimmesdale who is standing on the scaffold. While Pearl is playing, she lays some grass in the shape of an A on her own chest. However, one of the most important A's is the one the towns-people see burnt into the skin over Dimmesdale's heart.The Letter "A" has a variety of meanings throughout the story. Originally standing for Adulterer it comes to have a different meaning to each character. The Community considers the Letter as a Mark of just punishment being dealt. Hester sees the letter as a symbol of unjust humiliation. Dimmesdale sees it as a reminder of his own guilt. Chillingworth sees the A as a quest for revenge. Pearl is very curious of the letter and sees it as a great mystery. The "A" also comes to stand for angel when it appears in the sky when the Governor dies.Symbolism shows the greatness of an author's ability to embroider his work with meaning. It also reveals that the author really cares about what he is writing and that he wants us, the readers, to care about it as well. Nathaniel Hawthorne's use of symbolism in the Scarlet Letter shows his immense ability to produce a novel of the highest possible caliber. The Symbols in the Scarlet letter add needed meaning and deepness to the story that has and will continue to attract readers for many years.

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