Imagers- Scarlet Letter

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The first example of nature imagery in the Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a description of the plants growing outside of the jail. This description is of "unsightly vegetation" which is a symbol for the problematic Puritan society and of a "wild rose-bush" which is symbolic for Hester (45). The "unsightly vegetation" represents the Puritan society and its tribulations. The vegetation is described as having "something congenial in the soil that had so early borne the black flower of civilized society, a prison" (45). The Puritans, in their attempt to establish a model ‘city on a hill', have found the New World as a "congenial" or friendly place to establish a society. But one of the first buildings they built, "the black flower" was a prison, which shows they have low expectations and they anticipate sinning (45). The vegetation is also representative of the Puritan society because like how the vegetation is damaging to the rose bush, the town is detrimental to Hester. The vegetation takes away nutrients and sunshine from the rose bush so that the rose bush can't flourish. The Puritans try to stop Hester from ‘flourishing' too, but it spite of them she still manages to do so. The rosebush and Hester remain good and beautiful in regardless of what is going on around them.

The rose bush, because it represents Hester, symbolizes "some sweet moral blossom" (46). Hester, because of her "A", is alienated from the society, so she is left to contemplative of the town without fully being a part of it. As a result, she is able to see the problems of the society, so she gives hope that the things wrong with the town will change. Even though Hester is able to leave the town, she chooses not to. She has put down "roots which she had struck in the soil," (72).

Pearl is also connected with the rose bush. She is called "Red Rose" by Dimmesdale because she is also able to grow, despite of the troubled town (97). Additionally, when asked where she comes from, Pearl...
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