Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

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Symbolism can be defined as using objects, characters, figures, or colors to represent abstract Ideas or concepts. The Scarlet Letter Is a story that describes the life of an adulterer, Hester Prying. She had sexual relations with Reverend Arthur Timescale, while married, that resulted In the birth of her daughter, Pearl. However, she doesn’t let It get to her and shows great bravery by living on through her hard time.

In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism wrought the entire story to express the results of her and her fellow adulterer’s sin in a way that the readers could relate too. One of many symbols in The Scarlet Letter is obviously, the scarlet letter “A”. The letter “A” stands for adulterer and is appropriately worn by Hester, who is an adulterer. It is a symbol of her sin. Since she has to wear it on her clothes everyday she is constantly reminded of her sin as people, even the needy of whom she helps, mock her as she goes by.

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As the story progresses it becomes evident that the letter Is to only a symbol of her sin but is a symbol of her Identity. Hester can be Identified as the adulterer who has to wear the letter “A”. A second symbol In The Scarlet Letter Is Pearl, Hester daughter. Pearl, In a way, Is the living version of the letter “A”. Just as the letter “A”, Pearl Is a symbol of Hester sin that everyone can see. Not only is Pearl a symbol of her mother’s sin, she is oppositely a symbol of a blessing to Hester. Because of Pearl, Hester has a reason to continue living.

Also, Pearl is a symbol of an unsolved mystery because before Timescale confesses, Hester fellow sinner is unknown. A third symbol in The Scarlet Letter is the meteor that spells out a letter “A” in the sky while Timescale stands on the scaffold right before he is about to confess that he is Hester fellow sinner. It is a symbol to him that he too should wear an “A” to show everyone that he Is just as guilty of the sin of adultery as Hester is. A fourth symbol In The Scarlet Letter Is the scaffold.

It has many symbolic Interpretations. This Is where Hester was forced to stand while getting publicly militate for her sin and also where Timescale stood while confessing he Is Hester fellow sinner. By Hester standing up to a criticizing crowd on the platform and Timescale not being able to stand on the platform until he builds up enough courage to publicly confess his sin, shows that the scaffold is a symbol of bravery. Since it is also a place of judgment it represents God’s platform he will use on His day of Judgment.

It also is a symbol of how all people, who will be in a point of weakness, will have to appear before God for their final Judgment. A final symbol used by Hawthorne in his novel is the color red. The color red is associated with many items. One of these items has to do with the title of the novel, the scarlet letter “A” because scarlet is a shade of red. Another item is Pearl. Pearl is often found wearing red clothing. Pearl Is also called many names linked to the color red, such as, “Ruby”, “Coral”, “Red Rose”, and “a little bird of scarlet plumage”.

A last Item Is the wild red rose bush outside Hester prison that Is used to show nature’s tatty no matter how sad the time may be. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism in ere use of symbolism is important to literary writings because it provides the readers Ninth a better way of understanding the true meaning the author wants them to take away from their reading. Without symbolism, readers would be bored while reading and probably would have trouble understanding the point of what they were reading. Symbols allow readers to realize the points of the writing and help them to be able to connect them with their lives.

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Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter. (2018, Feb 14). Retrieved from

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