Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne Pages: 2 (764 words) Published: December 14, 2012
Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter contains many reflective and important symbols. The device of symbolism is described in the novel with different meanings. In the beginning of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, he uses a rosebush, a letter A on Hester Prynne’s blossom, and Pearl as examples to symbolism for the Scarlet Letter. As the novel goes on the meaning of the Scarlet Letter A on Hester’s blossom changes from Adultery to Able to Angel. This shows that symbolism can change from one thing to another.

In the opening novel, Hawthorne describes the rosebush next to the prison that Hester is in. The rosebush comes to represent more than what they are worth. “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 a tale of a human faculty and sorrow” (50), says Hawthorne to emphasize the meaning of the rosebush. The thorns on the rose bush represent the bad in the people and how they are a part of this world. For example, “But, on one side of the portal, and rooted almost at the threshold, was a wild rose-bush, covered, in this month of June, with its delicate gems, which might be imagined to offer their fragrance and fragile beauty to the prisoner as he went it, and to condemned criminal as he came forth to his doom, in token that the deep heart of Nature could pity and be kind to him” (50). A person can be seen as a significant signal but the way they have and or come across can be as bad. As an example in the novel it would be Dimmesdale and Hester. The rosebush symbolizes human nature and their consequences.

The beginning of The Scarlet Letter, it is taken as a description of punishment and sin. Hester was made to wear the letter A on her blossom as a symbol of Adultery. Now that she wears the symbol, town’s people see that she has committed Adultery by having a child with some other soul than her husband, Roger Chillingsworth. For example she gets...
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