Symbolism Used In The Scarlet Letter

1263 words - 5 pages

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, symbolsim is constantly present in the actual scarlet letter “A” as it is viewed as a symbol of sin and the gradally changes its meanign, guilt is also a mejore symbol, and Pearl’s role in this novel is symbolic as well. The Scarlet Letter includes many profound and crucial symbols. these devices of symbolism are best portayed in the novel, most noticably through the letter “A” best exemplifies the changes in the symbolic meaning throughout the novel.
In the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, the letter is understood as a label of punishment and sin being publicized. Hester Prynne bears the label of “A” signifining adulterer upon her chest. Because of this scorching red color label she becomes the outcast of her society. She wears this symbol of punishment and it become a burden throughout her life. The letter “produces only a reflection of her scarlet letter; likewise, the townspeople's image of Hester revolves around her sin. The evil associated with Hester's actions and the letter on her chest consume all aspects of her life, concealing her true beauty, mind, and soul” (R. Warfel 421-425). Society pushed blame upon Hester Prynne, and these events lead to the change of her life. The Puritans whom Prynne is surround by view the letter as a symbol from the devil, controversially some individuals look upon the letter, sigh and fell sympathy towards her because they have or are involved in this same situation. Nonetheless the haunting torture Hester Prynne battles daily drags on, Nathaniel Hawthorne shows this torture “of an impulse and passionate nature. She had fortified herself to encounter the stings and venomous stabs of public contumely wreaking itself in every variety of insult but there was a quality so much more terrible in the solemn mood of popular mind, that she longed rather be behold all those rigid countenances contorted with scornful merriment and herself the object.” The implication of Hester sin is of the red letter embroidered on her chest but also of a bearing of a child, and the father of the child amongst society but remains a mystery.
As the novel progresses the meaning of the symbolism of the letter “A” starts ti blossom into a new meaning. Toward the climax of the novel Hester Prynne’s appearance is altered to where she is no longer viewed as a sinner. The meaning on the symbol changes from of the devil to a some what vague symbol, as if it has lost its initial connotation. Society now views her a symbol that differs whom she really is, she is viewed as a strong woman through all the torment that is put in a unfortunate situation. At this point Hester has already learned how to dealt with the burden of the scarlet letter. Withstanding the pressures of society boiling down waiting patiently for Hester Prynne to crack, she does not, she grows into a stronger woman. A woman that has gone through hell and back and continues to thrive in her society even under the circumstances she...

Find Another Essay On Symbolism Used in The Scarlet Letter

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter Essay

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

Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter Essay

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

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

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"

1051 words - 4 pages From fairy tales to mythologies, fables to romance to even the simplest short stories of a third grader’s book, almost all of them often comprise a scheme of Heroes vs. Villains, and Good vs. Evil. Similarly, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne also contains many of the same situations and characters with their own symbolic meanings that allow them to express strong and demanding feelings through the symbols that they carry. Hester Prynne

Symbolism in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter

2391 words - 10 pages The Scarlet letter is the work of Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter is emotionally so complex that the symbolism in the story can be hard to figure out. The Scarlet Letter is based on sin, guilt, and evil. Hester has decided to deal with her infidelities in silence and independently. On the other hand Mr. Dimmesdale cannot work up enough courage to confess his part in Hester’s ongoing sin. The symbolism in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is

A Summary of the Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

5169 words - 21 pages [Abstract]: The Scarlet Letter makes the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne known all around the world. Hawthorne uses the symbolism so skillful that it enhances the artistic effects of his work greatly. This paper researches the symbolism in this novel from the following aspects: the changing symbolic meaning of the scarlet letter, the names of the major characters and many objects that are described in the novel to make the symbolism clear to

A Summary of the Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

4811 words - 19 pages A Summary of the Symbolism in The Scarlet LetterDon Grant[Abstract]: The Scarlet Letter makes the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorneknown all around the world. Hawthorne uses the symbolism so skillful thatit enhances the artistic effects of his work greatly. This paper researchesthe symbolism in this novel from the following aspects: the changing symbolicmeaning of the scarlet letter, the names of the major characters and manyobjects that are

A Summary of the Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

4796 words - 19 pages [Abstract]: The Scarlet Letter makes the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorneknown all around the world. Hawthorne uses the symbolism so skillful thatit enhances the artistic effects of his work greatly. This paper researchesthe symbolism in this novel from the following aspects: the changing symbolicmeaning of the scarlet letter, the names of the major characters and manyobjects that are described in the novel to make the symbolism clear tothe

The symbolism of Pearl in The Scarlet Letter

582 words - 2 pages The most significant symbolic meaning of Pearl in the novel is her associationwith the scarlet letter "A". When Hester stood fully revealed before thecrowd, it is her first impulse to clasp Pearl closely to her bosom; "notso much by an impulse of motherly affection, as that she might therebyconceal a certain token, which was wrought or fastened into her dress.""In a moment, however, wisely judging that one token of her shame wouldbut poorly

Three examples of Symbolism in "The Scarlet Letter"

911 words - 4 pages Symbolism is the use of concrete symbols to display a deeper more detailed meaning. In "The Scarlet Letter", Nathaniel Hawthorne employs many symbols that demonstrate a deeper sense. The most obvious symbol is the scarlet "A" that Hester is required to wear as punishment for the adultery she was accused of. The use of sunshine to display goodness and purity illustrates a strong symbol throughout the novel. Pearl, the daughter of Hester and

Hawthorne’s Use Of Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

605 words - 2 pages Hawthorne's prolific use of symbolism in his works is what characterizes him as a great writer of American Literature. Hawthorne develops his symbols as if they were actually actors in his story. Hawthorne's symbols are the essence of The Scarlet Letter.The Scarlet Letter "A" is the central symbol of the novel. It is intended to serve as a form of punishment for Hester Prynne's forbidden act of passion. It stands for "Adultery," and

Similar Essays

Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter Essay

1832 words - 8 pages woman. Nathaniel Hawthorne evolves the scarlet letter into many elements that transform it into a prideful symbol. In doing so, Hawthorne makes a social commentary on Puritan society by implying they view things in one way. Additionally, he uses the scarlet letter to show good and evil are essentially the same. Although the true story of Hester Prynne, Pearl, and the scarlet letter may still be unknown, Hawthorne’s use of symbolism causes the reader

Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter Essay 1270 Words

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

Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter Essay

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 Essay

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