Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's ' The Scarlet Letter ' Essay

1042 Words Dec 20th, 2015 5 Pages
The Prison Door:
Throughout “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne there are many symbols that are used to represent a bigger idea or create a mood or emotion. In the first chapter we are introduced to the first symbol. Hawthorne uses the prison door to symbolize the idea of a strict Puritan society and the harsh punishments for sin in the Puritan age. Hawthorne symbolizes this through the description of the prison door. “A throng of bearded men, in sad- colored garments, and gray, steeple- crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak and studded with iron spikes” (Hawthorne 45). Through further descriptions we are left to analyze how the prison door embodies the historic and strong Puritan laws. Although the prison door gives off a look of decay from years of harsh weather it still stands strong. Similarly to the laws of Puritan society that are still effective after many years. “The rust on the ponderous iron-work of its oaken door looked more antique than anything else in the New World. Like all that pertains to crime, it seemed never to have known a youthful era. Before this ugly edifice, and between it and the wheel- track of the street, was a grass plot, much overgrown with burdock, pigweed, apple-peru, and such unsightly vegetation which evidently found something congenial in the soil that had so early borne the black flower of civilized…

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