Scarlet Letter Symbols Essay

850 words - 4 pages

Purpose as Described by Symbols
Throughout this classic novel, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a variety of symbols to express the purpose in crafting this well-known book. The Scarlet Letter is considered to be one of the world’s first true symbolic novels. While there are many important symbols that can be used to depict Hawthorne’s reason for writing his book, there are three that stick out as the most powerful throughout the entirety of the novel. Each of these symbols is very important to the book as a whole, and the understanding of the complete novel. Without an understanding of these essential symbols, Hawthorne’s masterpiece would not be complete. Despite the countless amounts of ...view middle of the document...

In correspondence with those around Hester is the symbolism of color and of its absence as well. The Puritan religion is a very strict religion compared to many others of that time period, as well as this one as well. They all are dressed in dark colors, and have identical thoughts on sins and behaviors, as well as many of their daily behaviors. When Hester originally made her A, she made it red. This immediately made her stand out against the dark, plain colors that the Puritans generally wore. Hester always stood out to every one around her, with her actions and her reactions to everything that is going on around her. She never cared about what the other Puritans thought of her decisions or actions; she was her own person and never aimed to please anyone but herself. Hester broke away from the social norms that the Puritans had set for their community, along with everyone that was residing inside of it.
Another very strong symbol that was important throughout this novel was the idea of the rose that was set outside of the prison doors that are described in the very first paragraph of the book. This rose resembled the beauty that was given in any terrible situation, like the one that Hester was put into. The beauty that she was given was her beautiful daughter, Pearl. But on every rose, there is a thorn. The thorn that Pearl was associated with was the fact that she has...

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