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

The Scarlet Letter: Title, This Is About The Use Of Symbolism And The Political Status Of Women In Puritan New England And How It Relates To The Scarlet Letter. It Is A Critical Analysis.

1044 words - 4 pages

The Scarlet LetterThe Scarlet Letter, written in 1850 by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is about a Puritan society in Massachusetts. The theme of this novel is largely sin, and how the guilty parties were not equally treated for the same sin or exposed for the wrong that they had done in the eyes of God. Hawthorne describes deception, the withholding of the truth, and secrecy in the development of the plot and characters in the novel. Hawthorne vividly makes use of symbolism and feminine status in Puritan New England, giving The Scarlet Letter a complex plot.American transcendentalist Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts to Elizabeth Manning and Nathaniel Hathorne (Stewart 2). It is said that Hawthorne inherited his father's sternness, moodiness, and desire to stay to himself (3). Hawthorne spent his college years in Maine (13), and married Sophia Peabody in 1842 (62). Hawthorne was once called the "American Shakespeare," by Herman Melville (249).The use of symbolism by Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter can first be seen in the prison. The prison may be linked symbolically to the rigorousenforcement of Puritan laws. Also, Hawthorne refers to Ann Hutchinson, who rebelled against the Puritan beliefs and was imprisoned. Hawthorne describes a rose bush growing outside, and how impossible it was that it should be growing there by saying, "This rose-bush, by a strange chance, has been kept alive in history; but whether it had merely survived out of the stern old wilderness. . . or whether, as the is fair authority for believing, it had sprung up under the footsteps of the sainted Ann Hutchinson, as she entered the prison-door. . ." (Literary Classics of the United States 159). This rose bush is symbolic of passion, and Hester's sin is one of passion. The rosebush in bloom parallels the fact that Hester has given birth to a child as a result of her passionate sin. Perhaps the most evident of all symbolisms that Hawthorne details is the scarlet letter "A" that Hester is forced to wear, signifying that she is an adulteress. Hester cannot believe that she is forced to face the town alone, with her new child, and is overwhelmed when she realizes that everything that she once knew is gone (168). Hester is forced to face her sin alone, although another person looks on as the father of the child, Arthur Dimmesdale, an eminent minister in the town. However, Hester will not tell who the father of her child is. Ironically, Hester's husband, who was lost at sea, returns and yells to Hester, "Speak, woman! Speak and give your child a father!" The irony in this situation lies in the fact that Hester's husband, Roger Chillingworth, should have been Hester's child Pearl's father. A final irony is the fact that Dimmesdale is forced to try and make Hesterconfess the name of her child's father, and after trying, gives up very easily, when he is the father of Pearl(176). Pearl is an important use of symbolism because she is the living embodiment of her...

Find Another Essay On The Scarlet Letter: Title, this is about the use of symbolism and the political status of women in Puritan New England and how it relates to The Scarlet Letter. It is a critical analysis.

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

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter Essay

1832 words - 8 pages . They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne” (146). This shows the letter’s transition into wisdom and goodness. Hester begins to accomplish good things in the town and help as much as possible. When discussing how Hester helps the sick and is kind to the poor, Hawthorne says that the citizens “had begun to look upon the scarlet letter as the token, not of that one sin, for which she had borne so long and dreary a penance, but of

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

2319 words - 9 pages moment alone with her lover in the forest, and she is herself again, reaching passionately for a life of freedom and fulfillment" ("Scarlet Letter" 3). This shows how she has turned towards darkness. She has become "able", giving her help to those in the Puritan community; yet, with one moment alone with Dimmesdale and she lost everything that she strived for. This shows another struggle between light and darkness. Another symbol that leads to

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

Symbolism in the scarlet letter

567 words - 3 pages 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.

Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

916 words - 4 pages ' on his chest. The townspeople believe it means angel in honor of Governor Winthrop who had died. The differing interpretations reflect the belief that personal experience filters symbolic meaning for each individual.Conclusion: Symbolism is the main writing skill which is used in the Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne used a lot of symbols to reflect the life of Puritans and his rebel to Puritanism. In this article, the author studied two main symbols and four inconspicuous symbols in the Scarlet Letter in different angles. Symbolism makes his novel more attractive and makes Hawthorne's thoughts more profound.

Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

916 words - 4 pages ' on his chest. The townspeople believe it means angel in honor of Governor Winthrop who had died. The differing interpretations reflect the belief that personal experience filters symbolic meaning for each individual.Conclusion: Symbolism is the main writing skill which is used in the Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne used a lot of symbols to reflect the life of Puritans and his rebel to Puritanism. In this article, the author studied two main symbols and four inconspicuous symbols in the Scarlet Letter in different angles. Symbolism makes his novel more attractive and makes Hawthorne's thoughts more profound.

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter - 564 words

564 words - 2 pages , underlying meaning. Although there are many symbols in this book, there are three that really help support the main idea: Hester Prynne’s scarlet letter, the meteor, and Hester’s daughter Pearl. One symbol is Hester’s scarlet “A” that she wears on her bosom. She received this letter, specifically and “A”, because she had committed adultery in the Puritan town of Salem, Massachusetts. Hester had moved to Salem before her husband, who was supposed

Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

726 words - 3 pages ." (Blooms 85). This quote because in the scarlet letter the black is a false about the devil, and the story says that he carries a large book and pen with which people write their names in blood. The Black Man then puts his mark on the person. "On a psychological level, Mistress Hibbins is really another variation of the frustrated matrons represented in the opening scene. (Blooms 186) She's constantly trying to get people to be out with her

Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

1206 words - 5 pages capable of improving the quality of life and not just a blemish on the community. As the symbol of the "A" evolves and the use of the sunshine as a representation of purity continues to show so does the character of Hester. Finally in the conclusion of the novel she comes to realize that this physical representation of her sin is simply just that, a bodily symbol to be overcome. Her defiance of the scarlet letter "A" is embodied by the physical tearing of it from her garments, which allows her to again enjoy the sun that shines upon those deserving of it.

Symbolism of the letter 'A' throughout "The Scarlet Letter"

1445 words - 6 pages Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter includes many profound and importantsymbols. This device of symbolism is portrayed well in the novel, especially through thescarlet letter 'A'. The 'A' is the best example because of the changes in the meaningthroughout the novel. In the beginning of the novel, the scarlet letter 'A' is viewed as asymbol of sin. The middle of the novel is a transition period, where the scarlet letter 'A'is viewed

Similar Essays

"The Scarlet Letter", By Hawthorne And How It Relates To The Quote From Young Goodman Brown "Evil Is The Nature Of Mankind

1191 words - 5 pages Evil in the Heart of Man"Evil is the nature of mankind," says the devil in the supernatural tale of 'Young Goodman Brown,' which is written by one of the first men to publish a book based on symbolism. This man is named Nathaniel Hawthorne, whom is most famous for writing the masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter. This quote that Hawthorne has put into "Young Goodman Brown," reflects his deeper meaning and the whole plot of the fore-mentioned, The

Puritan Law As Hawthorne Views It What Is Hawthorn Trying To Say About Puritan Law? The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorn

769 words - 3 pages , purposely implanted in them, thereby insulting their beloved God rather than following Him and all of His decisions. It is generally believed that Puritan culture is exceedingly religious in all aspects of their community. Why then would a culture so God-focused attempt to change the very thing that makes them God's creatures: human nature? But to know the "why," the "what" must be known and understood. In this case, the "what" would be: how the

The Effects And Implications Of Sin In The Scarlet Letter: This Is An Essay About How Sin Effected The Different Characters In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

788 words - 3 pages The Effects and Implications of Sin in The Scarlet LetterPublished in 1850, The Scarlet Letter was the first American tragedy. It was written by one of America's greatest writers, Nathaniel Hawthorne. This story deals with problems of secret sin and the guilt of a tortured conscience. Hawthorne uses a fictional symbol and a fictional woman to weave a tale with ageless significance. The Scarlet Letter is a psychological novel, dealing not only

The Scarlet Letter: An Analysis Of Symbolism

1775 words - 7 pages said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne” (146). This shows the letter’s transition into wisdom and goodness. Hester begins to accomplish good things in the town and help as much as possible. When discussing how Hester helps the sick and is kind to the poor, Hawthorne says that the citizens “had begun to look upon the scarlet letter as the token, not of that one sin, for which she had borne so long and dreary a penance, but of her