Significance of Flame in Scarlet Letter

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, Nathaniel Hawthorne Pages: 2 (564 words) Published: May 16, 2012
Word: Fire and Flames(part 1)
“5:22- But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” There is a known relation between sin and fire. Throughout the New Testament, there have been instances where the “hells of fire” have been mentioned. It has been said that fire is an expression of God’s wrath. The author has deliberately used these words- “fire” and “flames” repeatedly, emphasizing on the sin which various characters have committed. Puritans were staunch believers of the Bible and followed it literally. Both these words have been used to describe the Scarlet Letter, Pearl and Roger Chillingworth. The letter A symbolizes adultery, and it had been branded deeply onto Hester’s bosom. On page 79, in the last paragraph, it has been said that that the people believed that the scarlet Letter was “red hot with an infernal flame.” Infernal is something related to hell. It has been alluded that the wearer of the letter will burn in the fires of hell. On page 68, in the second paragraph too, Roger Chillingworth says that he should have beheld the “bale-fire: of the letter. Again it shows that the symbol causes pain, just like fire, not only to the wearer but also to him. At a number of occasions Chillinngworth has been compared to a devil. On page 112, in the first paragraph this has been mentioned vaguely. People believed “that the fire in his laboratory had been brought from the lower regions and was fed by infernal fuels.” “Lower regions” and “Infernal” both refer to hell. On page 148, the author has said that sometimes it felt as if his “soul was on fire”- another reference to his transformation to the devil. His sly and cunning ways also act as a contributing factor. The words signify pain, evil and on the whole the devil. His anger was like a “lurid...
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