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The Use of Symbols in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay

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Document type Essay
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The Use of Symbols in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Throughout the publication, The Scarlet Letter, the writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a few Important symbols to represent major topics in the publication. The most evident and well known, since it's in the title, is the scarlet letter Hester is forced to wear. Three other symbols would be the scaffold, the sunlight, and the woods. To begin with, the very important and powerful symbol in the full book is the infamous scarlet letter, thus the title, The Scarlet Letter. In the next chapter, Hester walks out of this prison, sporting the notorious scarlet letter 'A'. During the first few years of Hester's punishment, the correspondence was a daily reminder of pity. In chapter five, Hawthorne writes,, "Hester Prynne had always this dreadful agony in feeling a human eye upon the token; the spot never grew callous; it appeared, on the contrary, to grow more sensitive with daily torture" As the story unfolds, though, this letter comes to mean other things to Hester and the folks. As opposed to bringing torture to Hester, it eventually becomes a symbol to some people meaning "able." In chapter 13, Hawthorne writes, "They said that it meant 'Willing'; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength." A few pages later, Hawthorne writes, "The scarlet letter had not done its office." The scarlet letter was intended as a punishment for Hester, and yet here we see that it hasn't punished Hester. In chapter 18, Hawthorne writes, "Therefore , we seem to see that, as regarded Hester Prynne, the whole seven years of outlaw and ignominy had been little other than a preparation for this hour." Even though the scarlet letter does bring pity to Hester, as Hawthorne writes , it's not performed its obligation. Hester pl...

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