Nathaniel Hawthorne is a dark transcendentalist who believes one must go beyond the physical senses and depend on intuition in order to understand reality. In his novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne reveals his transcendentalist message by using many elaborate symbols. The purpose of this symbolism is to express his belief that there is no choice in life but to follow intuition and that in doing so there is no guarantee of happiness, success, or reward. However, it is still necessary to follow one's heart in order to have any moral or personal integrity. The symbolism is used to reflect the physical world in a transcendental reality.
Hester Prynne has sinned against God by committing adultery. She has admitted to it and is not afraid of the consequences. One may think that she should leave the town so she does not have to carry the shame with her, but she cannot because her heart still holds a special place for the father of her child, Mr. Dimmesdale. Hester is a symbol of strength to the people of the city because she inspires them for admitting her sin since they too have sins that they are afraid to admit. Though they hold Hester in a low place, they cannot help but be interested in her, for if Hester can find redemption, then any of them can as well. .
Hester logically believes that if she stays in the city and remains strong, she will achieve happiness and a rewarding future with Mr. Dimmesdale and Pearl. Her heart tells her to stay because she still loves the minister, but in doing so she is challenged and questioned for the proper upbringing of her child. Though her instinct tells her that the love and compassion she has for Mr. Dimmesdale will bring her happiness in the end, she does not get quite what she expects. Once Dimmesdale finally confesses in front of the community he says to Hester,.
The law was broke! - the sin here so awfully revealed! - let these alone be in thy thoughts! I fear! I fear! It may be that, when we forgot our God, - when we violated our reverence each for the other's soul, - it was thenceforth vain to hope that we could meet hereafter in an everlasting and pure reunion.