The reader is thus invited to consider the whole story as a progressive uncovering of the "truth" of a symbol that constitutes one of the most enigmatic elements of American literature. Critics over the years focused on this search for a hidden significance, and put forward their own interpretation of this "truth. The narrator frequently uses this word throughout the romance, and its various occurrences enable us to shape a definition that corresponds to his personal use of symbols.
Check new design of our homepage! Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter': Symbolism and Character Analysis A bestselling story and a popular read even today, The Scarlet Letter is a marvelous story that comes from the mind of Nathaniel Hawthorne, a brilliant and legendary writer.
This Penlighten article analyzes the symbolism used in this famous tale, and also provides a brief look into the characters that made it what it is. Penlighten Staff Did You Know?
There is still some doubt surrounding how Hawthorne had decided to write The Scarlet Letter. Some say he was to write it as a short story, but his agent James Fields convinced him to turn it into a novel. However, those claims have now been proven false.
The author's wife Sophia made a statement saying, "[Fields] has made the absurd boast that he was the sole cause of the Scarlet Letter being published! Written way ahead of its time and set in Puritan era Boston, this is a story about a woman, Hester Prynne, who lives her life like a criminal, yet never ceases to do as much good as she can.
Helping the needy people of the society that once shunned her, her image is somewhat restored in society later on, although it may have been too late for that. It takes place in the 17th century, when the Puritan law was prevalent and going strong, and adultery was equated with a criminal offense.
The hardships that Hester faces, her guilt, her shame, her vengeful husband set out to find her lover, and the lover who lets her take all the blame - all these aspects are described beautifully in the tale. Fraught with astute symbolism, it takes more than one read to really do justice to the essence of the story.
Discussed below in brief are some of the symbols used in The Scarlet Letter, their meanings, and before that, a detailed analysis of the characters. Those who make up the story Hester Prynne Hester is the main character, who has been accused of adultery and publicly scorned.
She lives with her daughter in a small hut outside town, and earns a meager living by embroidering clothes. A kind woman at heart, she helps people who are in need, as is shown by the end. Her love for Dimmesdale makes her take the entire blame for her sin and never reveal his name.
She even makes a plan to run away to Europe with him and her daughter to escape from Chillingworth. Her love for her daughter Pearl is deep and true, and she does what she can to protect her.
She does not let the scarlet A define her life, but resumes wearing it and helping people until the end. On her death, she is buried next to Dimmesdale, with an A engraved on their tombstone. Arthur Dimmesdale He is a minister in the town of Boston, and a much-loved and respected man at that.
Although everyone holds him in high regard, he is living a secret till the end. He does not reveal to anyone that he is indeed Hester's lover and Pearl's father, and lets Hester take the blame for everything.
However, guilt and shame begin to do him in soon, and their weight begins to affect his physical and mental health. Unable to bear the anguish and inner torment, he finally confesses in front of the entire town, revealing the A seared into his chest.
This revelation finally sets him free, and he dies in Hester's arms. Roger Chillingworth Roger Chillingworth is actually Hester's husband in disguise.
He is a physician, who comes to Boston to find that his wife is being tried for adultery. He then vows revenge, and sets out to find Hester's lover.But it is interesting to remark that Poe used the term "allegory," whereas Hawthorne preferred that of "symbol" in The Scarlet Letter.
This underlines a major inflection in Hawthorne's use of this type of stylistic figure, from the "Allegories of the heart" to The Scarlet Letter. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is generally considered to be the first American symbolic novel.
A symbol is something which is used to represent something broader in meaning.
The most obvious symbol in the novel is the actual scarlet 'A' which both the criticism and I agree upon.5/5(5). 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.
But it is interesting to remark that Poe used the term "allegory," whereas Hawthorne preferred that of "symbol" in The Scarlet Letter. This underlines a major inflection in Hawthorne's use of this type of stylistic figure, from the "Allegories of . - Symbolism in the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, includes a variety of symbolism, which plays a significant role in the book.
The most significant symbol in The Scarlet Letter is Hester Prynne's daughter, Pearl, whom Hester bore as a result of her sin of adultery. 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.
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