The Effectiveness Of Symbolism In The Scarlet

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The Effectiveness Of Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter Essay, Research Paper Winston 1 The Effectiveness of Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter The effectiveness of symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne?s, The Scarlet Letter adds to the story. Hawthorne uses symbolism in many ways throughout this novel. By adding this marvelous feature he makes it clear to what he is trying to accomplish. The scarlet letter itself is symbolic. In this novel locations, colors, and people are all major elements of symbolism that bring out the story. Unlink other forms of symbolism used by Hawthorne location was a key ingredient in the creation of The Scarlet Letter. She silently ascended the steps, and stood on the platform, holding little Pearl by the hand. The ministry felt for the child?s other hand,

and took it. The moment that he did so, there came what seemed a tumultuous rush of new life, other life that his own, pouring like a torrent unto his heart, and hurrying through all his veins, as if the mother and the child were communicating their vital warmth to his half-torpid system. The three formed an electric chain (181). The scaffold is the location where most important events take place. The scaffold is, where Hester is sentenced to wear the scarlet letter, and is also the location where Dimmesdale died confessing his adultery. All public humiliation as well as punishment takes place at the scaffold. Hawthorne uses the forest is another effective use of symbolism. He shows how anything affiliated with the forest is considered evil to the Puritans, however he uses Pearl

to show the forest as being beautiful and natural. Winston 2 Hawthorne uses also color as another major form of symbolism. According to American Literary Classics, Outside the door of the prison, ?the black flower of civilized society,? sprung a wild rosebush in nominal of the deep sympathetic heart of Nature. Black, thus, seems to symbolize the dogmatic, harsh, and restrictive nature of Man?s law and civilized society, whereas, Red is symbolic of the open freedom of Nature. Hawthorne well placed locations help intertwines location with color and nature. ?The people strike me not as characters, but as representatives.?(James, Henry) Hester Prynne and Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale share a common trait; they both symbolize sinners. Hawthorne also stresses that Dimmesdale, Chillingworth,

and Hester are all symbolic of liars, they are all evil in someway or another. Rev. Dimmesdale hates himself, because he is the Great Rev. who everyone looks up to but he himself is living in a total lie, so much that he is his own worst enemy. ?He thus typified the constant introspection wherewith he tortured, but could not purify himself? his bad deed (141). The character of Roger Chillingworth is symbolic of his own name. ?We (Dimmesdale and Hester) are not, Hester, the worst sinners in the world. There is one worse than even the polluted priest! That old man?s revenge has blacker than my sin. He has violated, in cold blood, the sanctity of a human heart (179).? This is the unpardonable sin which make Chillingworth pure evil, the devil at heart. Pearl, Hester?s child, is

symbolic of changing Puritan society. She is the out come and cause of the scarlet letter. Born of sin, rebellious to the Puritan way of life, but not evil. When Wilson first sees her, he calls her a ?Red Rose?, then letter asks he who made her. She intelligently responds without hesitation, that she was plucked off the rose bush outside the prison door. Winston 3 Hester Nathaniel Hawthorne?s, The Scarlet Letter, use of symbolism adds to the story. Without his effective use of symbolism the plot, theme, the whole novel would not flow. By allowing so many locations, colors, and people to have more than just one general meaning, allows the reader think, ?what if?. Hawthorne uses symbolism in The Scarlet Letter is so effective it urges the reader to read the novel more than once. By