Symbolism in "Scarlet Letter"

Topics: Hester Prynne, The Scarlet Letter, Symbol Pages: 3 (867 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Symbols can play a significant role in books. They can add deeper meaning to the story, and allow the reader to understand characters or context in a different way. In the book “The Scarlet Letter,” symbolism plays an important role. There are many symbols in the book,The symbols all have meaning, which help the reader to go deeper in the text. Also, symbolism in The Scarlet Letter enhance meaning in the text by allowing the reader to understand the characters on a deeper lever. Three significant symbols from The Scarlet Letter include: Pearl, Hester, and The Forest.

Pearl is a symbol of sin and treasure. She symbolizes sin because she is Hester's child who committed adultery. The book states that she symbolizes Sin. "Pearl was a born outcast of the infantile world. An imp of evil, emblem and a product of sin, she had no right among christened infants" (Hawthorne 79). In this case, she would be considered as a Demon offspring because she was born from an adulturous relationship. The puritans believe that Pearl and her mother Hester, outsiders from the good Puritian lifestyle that they strive for. On the other hand, Pearl also symbolizes treasure because she is beautiful, hard to acquire, and a big sacrifice. The book describes how Pearl is a Treasure. “The beauty that became every day more brilliant, and the intelligence that threw its quivering sunshine over the tiny features of this child! Her Pearl!-For so had Hester called her; not as a name expressive of her aspect, which had nothing of the calm, white, unimpassioned lustre that would be indicated by the comparison. But, she named the infant “Pearl”, as being of great price,-purchased with all she had, her mother’s only treasure!” (75). This text is saying that, Hester didn’t call her Daughter “Pearl” for any reason. She called her that to show how Pearl is a great sacrifice. Therefore, Pearl symbolizes Treasure throughout the book, she is always being described how beautiful she is, difficult to...
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