(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

Symbols and Imagery in The Scarlet Letter

            The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a novel that is full of symbols and imagery. The symbols in the novel are what piece it together to create something great. Throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses symbols such as the scarlet letter A, that represent suffrage and punishment, but, as the novel progresses it begins to unfold and become a representation of redemption and truth. .
             Hester Prynne's scarlet letter undoubtedly represents the sin of adultery and she must wear this 'A' as a symbol of punishment. From the beginning of the novel you can see that Hester does not let the true meaning of the 'A' dictate her being. She flaunts the scarlet letter in a "haughty" manner which causes all of the townspeople to view her in a different light. The punishment that went along with Hester wearing the scarlet letter was for her to embroider it herself. When she sewed it, she did so in such an un-puritan way. The Puritan's believe in simplicity and they never wore anything bright and gaudy "In sad colored garments and grey, steeple-crowned hats." (54). When Hawthorne describes the scarlet letter it is depicted to be something "gorgeous" and "fancy" which is showing that she crossed the puritan boundaries and went the extra mile to irritate the townspeople. "Marked with natural dignity and force of character, and stepped into the open air as if by her own free will." (59) Hester Prynne stood out like a sore thumb. She owned up to her crime with "dignity" which no other puritan would have done. .
             Once a symbol of suffrage and punishment now a symbol of redemption. The scarlet letter began to turn into something repelling the sense of selflessness, which is what Hester had become. "Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will even be transformed to love, unless the change be impeded by a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility." (176). In the beginning Hester wanted nothing but to be arrogant towards the situation she wanted to provide the puritans with the vibe that she didn't care much about it.

Essays Related to Symbols and Imagery in The Scarlet Letter

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question