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Essay on Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

Project id 1013978
Subject area Biology
Document type Essay
Words 1098
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Symbolism can be described as a figure, character, or thing which is used to represent complex or abstract ideas. By expressing an idea in the kind of a picture, the reader can visualize the concept more concretely. The old expression, "a picture is worth a million words," applies to symbolism as the writer creates a visual representation of ideas. The use of symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter will help to illuminate the overall significance of the job. At the start of the novel, the reader is introduced into a gloomy and dark city that had first assembled a prison and a cemetery. Amidst the depressing landscape, is a beautiful rosebush. "But on one side of the portal, and rooted almost at the threshold, was a crazy rose-hush, covered, in this month of June, with its delicate gems, which might be imagined to offer their fragrance and fragile beauty to the prisoner as he travelled, and to the condemned criminal as he came forth to his doom, in token that the deep heart of Nature could pity and be kind to him" (Hawthorne 10) This rosebush signifies a change, beauty, and hope for the prisoners awaiting their liberty. Getting bright and lovely, the rosebush is shockingly different from the depressing gloom of the rest of society. "At the comparison of this wild rose bush, with its blossoms turned into gems, and the prison, turned to an unnatural blossom - the black flower of civilization -Hawthorne places his conflict between prisoner and prison (or prisoner and crowd) into a much bigger context. The rose bush is beautiful, also natural and wild; the black blossom is nasty, also civilized and unnatural. Nature has a heart to pity and be kind; civilization, apparently, doesn't." (Baym 6) This rosebush was a symbol of...

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