Symbolism as an Attribute of the Scarlet Letter

In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses numerous amounts of complex details and language to tell his novel. His use of figurative language helps tells his novel and set the mood for his audience. Figurative language and symbolism play a crucial role in

In this novel, Hawthorne utilizes imagery and symbolism throughout his entire novel. His techniques help set the storys mood. An abundance of symbolism appears countless of times in many different forms. Some forms of symbolism in Hawthornes novel include his characters, items, location, and many more. He uses symbolism to create meaning and emotion in his story. The scarlet letter sewn on to the bosom part of Hester Prynnes dress, Pearl, the meteor, rosebush, sunlight are the many examples of symbols found in the story.

To start off, the scarlet letter is probably the biggest symbol and most significant one in this novel. The scarlet letter is worn my the storys protagonist, Hester Prynne for her wrongdoings. It is an A that dominates most of her dress and its to be seen by everyone hence why it is so large. The letter A in towards the beginning of the story stands for adultery. She has a relationship with another man who is not her husband and the people of the town are furious. As the story progresses, we soon learn that the letter A also stands for able. The scarlet letter represents sin in this case, but in many other cases it portrays much more than just Hesters wrong actions. She allows her emotions to make her a stronger woman and later on the scarlet letter stands for hard work, righteousness, skill, and grace. Hawthorne writes, The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers,“stern and wild ones,“and they made her strong, but taught her much amiss. (pg 165) This quote talks about how how Hesters scarlet letter not only helped her grow as a person, but it guided her through the wilderness. From then on, she started to become a stronger independent woman. Many times though, her teachers would teach her wrong meaning they would misguide her, but Hester still found a way to be free and prosper and live her joyous life with Dimmesdale and her baby Pearl.

Not to mention, symbols play a very crucial role in telling the story. Symbols could be metaphors or similes and can affect the story in many way. Authors use symbolism in their text when they want to form a certain mood or give off a certain energy. Symbols are short phrases or words compacted to hide and convey deeper meaning. It has an ability to represent ideas and concepts in ways other literary elements cant. Symbols helps readers create mental images inside their heads as they progress through the text. Symbolism shows a story rather than just telling it and without it, the story would be dull and pedestrian. Hawthorne uses this literary device to make the novels theme more clearly and visibly.

To conclude, symbolism is an important attribute to this novel and Hawthorne uses it to create deeper meaning within his text. The use of symbolism within this story helps tell his story in a much more complex way and audiences will need to dig deeper to find the hidden messages.

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