The Scarlet Letter Symbolism

1299 Words 6 Pages
Symbolism plays a key role in many novels to convey a certain purpose and to form the theme. Within the novel The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne must model a scarlet red A on her bust or, in other words, breast. This A means many things throughout the book. Hester Prynne has committed a crime in which her village has strongly been disgusted by. Her punishment affects the entire village in many different ways. The way her child, Pearl, had viewed the letter on Hester’s bosom was definitely not the same of how the villagers saw it. Symbolism without a doubt is very important in this novel and here are the ways it has been shown. First and foremost, the rose bush and the letter have a curious similarity in symbolism. The first obvious similarity …show more content…
The way Pearl had perceived it is the most unique. Pearl grows up very different from others. She and her mother have been shunned from society. Pearl only being seven years old is too innocent to understand why. She is very creative and imaginative. Pearl starts to copy her mother and tries to recreate the burdening letter. She keeps asking her mother what the symbol actually means, but Hester will not tell her. Being a child, she does not fully understand the meaning but likes to think she does. In another scene, Hester, living in the moment, takes off her cap and letter feeling free. Hester finally being released and happy asks Pearl to come and meet Arthur Dimmesdale. Pearl refuses, as that is not how she knows her mother. In Chapter 19, Hester states, “Children will not abide any, the slightest, change in the accustomed aspect of things that are daily before their eyes. Pearl misses something which she has always seen me wear!” .The symbol to Pearl is not a symbol but it is who she imagines her mother. Without it, she does not recognize her mother. I would also like to point out how Pearl, throughout the book, is seen as the scarlet letter. She personifies the letter. To Hester, Pearl is the letter. When Hester takes off the letter it’s like she is forgetting about Pearl and her sin. The symbol is Pearl and no matter if Hester physically wears it her daughter is the sin. Pearl knows her …show more content…
It is very well understood and appreciated. The great part of symbolism is that you understand the meaning however you want. Hester viewed the symbol differently from the beginning to the end of the story. She also viewed it differently from a set of strangers. Pearl had comfort in the symbol while the villagers found disgust. Its color could have many meanings. Many of the reasons lead to a certain theme but contribute to the overall theme. The way symbolism is written is undeniably beautiful. It helps to not only advance the story tremendously but make it more interesting. You can really take your imagination to great lengths. Everyone had his or her own meaning of the letter, but in the end, it is how you perceive its purpose and

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