The Scarlet Letter Symbolism Essay

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“Pull a thread here and you’ll find it’s attached to the rest of the world.” This quote by Nadeem Aslam is very accurate not only in the real world, but in literature. Often times in life, one action can have multiple effects. Pull one thread and it will affect the arrangement of every single little thread. In literature, writers often use a similar method called symbolism. Writers often take an item or idea and write a story in such a way that these symbols can have multiple meanings. Multiple threads are ultimately connected to one in the end. One brilliant author who was a genius in the symbolism concept was Nathanial Hawthorne. In his novel The Scarlet Letter, he creates a beautiful work which revolves around many symbols. The most prominent …show more content…
Pearl sort of becomes a living symbol for the scarlet letter. She is the product from her mother and fathers sin. Hester enjoys dressing Pearl in bright, beautiful, dresses, and she stands out just as the red scarlet letter does from her mother’s bosom. Throughout the story, Pearl is described as “elvish” and having no emotion, and wild. In the forest, Pearl is free and is in harmony with nature. However, at the end of the novel when Dimmesdale confesses his sin on the scaffold, Pearls emotionless and elvish qualities disappear. She is now free to be human and feel human grief and sorrow. This beautiful event goes as such: “Pearl kissed his lips. A spell was broken. The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father’s cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor forever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it. Towards her mother, too, Pearl’s errand as a messenger of anguish was all fulfilled” (The Scarlet Letter, pg. 229).
Clearly, the scarlet letter “A”, in The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne has multiple different meanings. He uses symbolism all throughout his novel which gives it a deeper meaning. The scarlet letter not only means adultery, but it also stands for secret guilt and sin, an omen from God, and Pearl. Towards the end of the novel the scarlet letter also comes to mean “Able”, because of Hester’s goodness and helpfulness. Obviously, Hawthorne was a brilliant writer and still to this day, he is a great example for the use of

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