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The Scarlet Letter Symbolism

             In the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbols of natural origin, in order to emphasize the theme of how human sin can be alleviated, through hope, freedom, and salvation. The first natural symbol, the rosebush, "It may serve, let us hope to symbolize some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track or relieve the darkening close of tale of human frailty and sorrow" (P. 46). The rosebush represents the hope and pure understanding and acceptance of sin. The rosebush's thorns, which can be seen as sin, still allows that sin of thorns to blossom into "some sweet moral". Another natural symbol, the forest, "such was the sympathy of Nature - that wild heathen nature of the forest never subjugated by human law nor illuminated by higher truth with the bliss of these two spirits!"(P. 199). The forest represents the freedom that is given to those that have sinned, in order to help them alleviate their pain and increase their understanding and hope. The forest stands as something untouched, undefiled, and pure. The last symbol of natural origin is sunlight , "As she attempted to do so the sunshine vanish or to judge from the bright expression that was dancing on pearl features, her mother could have fancied that the child had absorbed into herself"(P.129). The sunlight is the salvation that sinners go to in order to gain acceptance of themselves. The sunlight is the light that purifies and helps those who have sinned to return to their true selves. It is all of these symbols of natural origin that bring closure to a persons damaged soul in order to repair it. .

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