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Essay on The Symbolic Nature of the Scarlett Letter

Assignment id 1001949
Discipline Self Improvement
Assignment type Essay
Words 1611
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The Symbolic Nature of the Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter introduces themes within the story that recur in several settings and function as metaphors for the inherent conflicts. The trouble in interpreting The Scarlet Letter is the fact that the narrative is packed full of symbolism which can be either missed, or amusing. By the actual letter 'A' down to the usage of colours, Hawthorne wrote his story with the intention of creating the reader work harder and browse deeper into the characters and real meaning of the narrative. As the book opens, the very first scene the readers are introduced to is the bleak image of a throng of people surrounding a prison door. To make the mood of gloom and despair Hawthorne uses words like "sad colored" and "gray, steeple crowned hats," to describe the clothes of the towns people. The prison stands for sin and an authority that doesn't condone the deviance in the Puritanical severity of law, and alongside the prison door grows a wild rose bush. The single red rose that grows from it serves as a sign of passion and both combined, indicate that the prisoner has been incarcerated because of the sin from passion. Also, Ann Hutchinson, who disagreed with the severity of Puritanical teachings and was imprisoned, plays a little role when Hawthorne references her name by mentioning it was possible the beautiful rosebush sprang from her steps. This is an implication of the rigidness of Puritanical authoritarianism and ties the beliefs of this prisoner to those of Ann Hutchinson. The rosebush can also be link to the woods and it is said that the rosebush could be a remnant of the previous wilderness which once covered the area. The forest surrounding the town is the only place where Puritanical laws are not abided, and also the simple fact that the wild rose the forest are attached gives the audience the idea that the two were somehow combined. The rosebush symbolizes Hester Prynne and the fact that it's a remnant of the wilderness foreshadows much of Hester's personality and behavior. Last, the rose bush is in full blossom which suggests that Hester is at the prime of fire. The consequence of this fire is that the arrival of a child. The child can also be contrasted to the blossoms and function as a "moral blossom", making her a key player in the actual moral of the story. Next, Hester Prynne measures from this.

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