Images And Symbols In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

800 Words 4 Pages
Authors have a variety of ways to show themes in their books. Images and symbols are tools that an author can use to exemplify the important lesson that he or she is trying to convey. Although Nathaniel Hawthorne uses images and symbols in The Scarlet Letter, he also utilizes characterization. Over the course of the book, the reader sees the minister, Dimmesdale, transform due to his lack of self-awareness. First, he is described as a respected member of the community. As time goes on, Dimmesdale’s health declines. Soon after, he meets his ultimate demise because he was never genuine to others or himself. Through the portrayal of Dimmesdale throughout The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne reinforces the theme of the book that people need to be true …show more content…
Dimmesdale is no longer described as a strong young man but as a fragile, aging man. He is pictured as nervous and pale. This new version of Dimmesdale is not like the old, powerful one seen in earlier pages of the novel. Hawthorne shows Dimmesdale’s shift when he writes, “The health of Mr. Dimmesdale had evidently begun to fail” (Hawthorne 96). Although he is ill, he refuses a doctor because he believes that his current physical state is a necessary penance. His sin affects his emotional being. This terrible emotional state then diminishes his physical being. After Dimmesdale accepts help from a physician, his health still declines. Hawthorne says, “He thus typified the constant introspection wherewith he tortured, but could not purify, himself” (Hawthorne 115). Dimmesdale’s guilt drives him to physically harm himself to try to make his feeling of shame go away. He has become senseless because he is hiding his sin from the community and …show more content…
(plural apostrophe) Nathaniel Hawthorne reveals the major theme of his novel that being genuine to oneself allows for true freedom, through his characterization of Dimmesdale. Hawthorne describes a healthy, strong version of Dimmesdale in the first few pages of the book. Hawthorne soon starts to change the way he is portraying him. Dimmesdale is not his resilient self. Dimmesdale gets characterized as frail. His health declines considerably that it eventually leads to his intense death. His death was because of his inability to confess his sin. (When not to use an apostrophe) He is unable to life a good and free live since he hides his inner self. Hawthorne’s theme is still seen in today’s society. To live a long and content life, a person needs to accept his or her

Related Documents