The Color Red in the Scarlet Letter Essay

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The Symbolism of Red in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the color red to represent passion, the need for beauty, and individuality in The Scarlet Letter. In the story, Hester Prynne, a young woman living in a Puritan community during the mid-17th century, is convicted of adultery and forced to live her life in a state of exile, branded by the Puritans through the embroidery of a scarlet A on her chest. Her and her child Pearl live in the outlying forest and are constantly ridiculed and shunned by the people of her town. Hester’s punishment, the scarlet letter, is representative of passion. The rosebush in front of the prison Hester was held in is a symbol of a need for beauty in the suppressed Puritan …show more content…
In that way, the rosebush can be linked to romanticism and nature. Pearl also ties into the rosebush, reinforcing the romantic theme of the color red: “The child finally announced that she had not been made at all, but had been plucked by her mother off the bush of wild roses, that grew by the prison-door.” In that scene, Pearl uses the rosebush to disregard Puritan authority. The rosebush, while contrasting the stringent

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