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. An allegory in literature is a story where characters, objects, and events have a hidden meaning and are used to present some universal lesson. Hawthorne has a perfect atmosphere for the symbols in The Scarlet Letter because the Puritans saw the world through allegory.
This is the second of the three essays and discusses symbolism in the novel. Throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter, the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a few key symbols to represent major themes in the book. The most obvious and well known, as it is in the title, is the scarlet letter Hester is forced to wear.
Three other symbols are the scaffold, the sun, and the forest.
To begin with, the most important and influential symbol in the entire book is the infamous scarlet letter, hence the title, The Scarlet Letter.
Hester plans to skip town and go back to Europe with Dimmesdale. Throughout the book, there are various meanings to the scarlet letter. Regardless, the true duty was to punish and teach a lesson, neither of which the letter performed successfully.
Another one we see early in the novel, at about the same time we see Hester wearing the scarlet letter for the first time in public, is the scaffold on which she stands after walking out of the prison. The very ideal of ignominy was embodied and made manifest in this contrivance of wood and iron.
The scaffold, like the scarlet letter, to the Puritans, is a place of public shame for those persons who decide to break the Puritan Law. It represents the sin of the person standing upon it and it shows the Puritan way of dealing with sin.
Among the other symbols we see in the book is the sun and its shining. Its importance becomes more evident as the book comes to a close, but the earlier parts of the book are used to build up its significance.
Throughout the book, we see that the sun shines on Pearl quite often, but never on Hester. Then, in chapter 18, we see Hester and Arthur talking in the forest. After deciding to go to England and live as a family Arthur, Hester, and Pearl there, Hester takes off the scarlet letter, to show that she is no longer bound by it.
The objects that had made a shadow hitherto, embodied the brightness now.
Because God has control over nature, He is happy with them. Although I think this is what Hawthorne tries to convey when he mentions sunshine over and over, his reasoning is incorrect. Many people say that Hester and Arthur never committed adultery because Hester, in their minds, was never actually married.
The Bible says in Matthew 5:When Nathaniel Hawthorne published the novel on March 16, , it was a juicy bestseller about an adulterous woman forced to wear a scarlet ‘A’ on her chest by a community steeped in. A summary of Themes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Scarlet Letter and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, draws attention to the negative qualities pertaining to the Puritan lifestyles and beliefs of the 17th century.
He illustrates this by describing "the city upon a hill", materialism, and the hypocritical nature of the Puritan.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an adulterous affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Chapter 2: “The Market-Place” Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Chapter 2: “The Market-Place”," The Scarlet Letter, Lit2Go Edition, (), accessed indeed, and cold, was the sympathy that a transgressor might look for, from such bystanders, at the scaffold.
On the other hand, a penalty which, in. The Seven Deadly Sins - We live in a society that is full of horrific things everywhere we turn. In order to not come in contact with these things we would have to live apart from the media and almost separate ourselves from society altogether.