Symbolism Of The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1001 Words Oct 27th, 2015 5 Pages
Generally speaking, a symbol is something used to stand for something else. In literature, a symbol is most often a concrete object used to represent an idea more abstract and broader in scope and meaning; often a moral, religious, or philosophical concept or value. In literature, symbolism can take many forms including: A figure of speech where an object, person, or situation has another meaning other than its literal meaning. The actions of a character, word, action, or event that have a deeper meaning in the context of the whole story. Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes an array of symbols in The Scarlet Letter to convey his main idea and points in the novel. Some symbols that he uses includes the scarlet letter, her daughter, the prison door, the custom house, and black man. Some of the symbols are static, and some slightly alter in meaning as the story progresses. In the novel, the community is Puritan based, and this gives Hawthorne an edge in the aspect of symbolism. Puritans saw the world through allegories, and allegories which have hidden meanings directly connect to symbols. Hawthorne constructs characters and objects around the Puritan lifestyle to effectively create symbols that strongly convey his points in The Scarlet Letter. One of the most important symbols in The Scarlet Letter that is not in the form of a person, but instead an object, is the actual scarlet letter. The scarlet letter is an “A”, and it is worn by Hester. The A stands for adultery with…

Related Documents