The Symbolism Of Names In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne the thought of sin is exhibited by the telling of a woman who has committed adultery against her missing husband and how not only her husband, but her husband and the man she loves struggle with the decisions they have made. The author shows this through the symbolic meaning of their names,their sins, and how their decisions affect them. Names have a symbolic meaning that can help the reader understand why the author chose that name. In Nan Lei’s article, "A brief study on the symbolic meaning of the main characters' name in the scarlet letter”, he explains the rundown on each main character’s name and how it ties in with how they are supposed to be portrayed. First, there is Hester Prynne a main …show more content…
Robert Milder’s article, "The Scarlet Letter--again???,” gives what the character’s total takeaway is in the novel. Through Hester’s marriage with Chillingworth, she is a Puritan. The story opens with her being overwhelmed by her situation and “prone to internalize the world's judgment and regard herself as a sinner…” (Milder). Automatically one thinks that she could not possibly handle everything on her plate so abruptly, but really she “becomes self-reliant both outwardly in making a life for herself and her daughter Pearl and inwardly in divesting herself of society's judgments and becoming a freethinker” (Milder). Hester comes out a stronger woman than she went in, letting the reader know that her situation bettered her as a woman and a mother. Despite Hester overcoming her trials and tribulations, Dimmesdale wallows in his sin. Throughout the years, Dimmesdale holds his guilt and shame inside and that makes him internally ill. During this time, he goes upon the same platform where Hester and Pearl were and stands there like he is suppose to. “Mr. Dimmesdale was overcome with a great horror of mind… a scarlet token on his naked breast, right over his heart” (Hawthorne 123). As he stands on the platform, the guilt is taking a toll on his mental health. He imagines the universe looking down on him, which permits him the scarlet letter on his chest. “Is Hester's and Dimmesdale's adultery a sin against divine law or, entirely ... a crime against the civil code of a harsh and punitive society?” (Milder). Their sin is both because the Bible tells of how one should not commit adultery, and their sin is a crime against civil code. The Puritan community lived by strict codes of what one must and must not do, and if that code is broken, they would go to extreme measures to punish that person. Although, Hester and Dimmesdale show how a decision can steer a person either

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