Essay On Symbolism In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter is full of symbolism. Every item has a story in it. He didn’t just throw in a rose because they’re his favorite flower. He put thought and meaning into every word in the book. Hawthorne’s symbolism may be over discussed in various english classes, but it for good reason. Most students wouldn’t see the symbolism behind each major items or characters in the book. Probably the most prominent symbol, and the most discussed, is the scarlet letter. The scarlet is best known as the embroidered letter that is worn on Hester Prynne 's dresses. The A at first, stands for adultery, the crime which Hester committed. Throughout the book however, the meaning changes. It stands for able when Hester helps the poor and sick. The town people begin to see the letter as a sign of good, instead of sinful. The letter however, stands for much more. It appears many times in the book, outside of Hester. It’s believed that Arthur Dimmesdale has an a burned into his chest, above his heart. This a is more harmful to Dimmesdale than anyone else, because he’s the only …show more content…
When Hawthorne was writing the book, there was a war going on between between science and religion. The forest represents science because it’s not well known and people associate it with evil. The forest is dark and darkness goes hand and hand with evil. In the book, the devil lives in the woods so the woods are the home of all evil. The rose bush that is by the prison door is a wild rose bush. It is the only beautiful vegetation that grows near the prison and is a stark contrast to all of it’s surrounding. It represents kindness and forgiveness because the prison is cruel and strict, and then there’s the rose bush that grows next to it, a beacon of hope. The rose bush also represents Hester rebelling against the common puritan beliefs and letting go. It just so happens that the rose is the same color of Hester’s scarlet

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