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Profound and important symbols in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

Matthew Arnold there is a lot of irony, appeal to the auditory and visual sense, and illusions. The tone in this poem is The story is about a m On the spokes of this wheel the existence of all things is assured; Adultery, betrayal, promiscuity, deception, and conspiracy, all of which would make an excellent coming attraction on the Hollywood scene and probably a rather erotic book.

Add Puritan ideals and writing styles, making it long, drawn out, sleep inducing, tedious, dim-witted, and the end result is The Scarlet Letter. Despite all these unfavorable factors it is considered a classic and was a statement of the era Letter 1. The Scarlet Letter is pervaded with profound symbolism and revolves around the idea that hidden guilt causes more suffering than open guilt.

This theme along with its symbolism is demonstrated through the lives of the three main characters — Hester Pyrnne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth throughout the story.

Their personalities are shown most clearly during the scaffold scenes. These scenes are the most substantial situations in the story because they illustrate the immediate, delayed, and prolonged effects that the sin of adultery has on the main characters Analysis1.

In the first scene, everyone in the town is gathered in the market place because Hester is being questioned about the identity of the father of her child — Pearl analysis 1. Hester experiences open guilt through being publicly punished for adultery. She is being forced to stand on it for three hours straight to be ridiculed and ostracized by the community. Dimmesdale however refuses to admit that he committed adultery and thereby eventually suffers hidden guilt.

His instantaneous response to the sin is to lie.

On the Symbolism of The Scarlet Letter Essay

Though he never actually says that he is not the other parent, he implies it by talking of the father in third person. Since his first sight of his wife in two years is of her being punished for being unfaithful to him, he is naturally surprised.

It does not last long though, because it is his nature to control his emotions. Chillingworth, subordinating his intellect to his desire for revenge, ultimately destroys himself stack 34 1. Everything about him gradually changes into evil. Even his facial expressions become noticeably different. To begin, Hester becomes stronger, more enduring, and even more sympathetic.

She becomes stronger because of all the weight she has to carry. She is a single mother who suffers all of the burdens of parenthood by herself. They live on the edge of town, and Pearl has no one to give her food, shelter and emotional support besides Hester.

Pearl is especially difficult to raise because she is anything but normal. Hawthorne gives a pretty accurate description of Pearl when he writes: The child could not be made amenable to rules. In giving her existence, a great law had been broken; and the result was a being whose elements were perhaps beautiful and brilliant, but all in disorder; or with an order peculiar to themselves, amidst which the point of variety and arrangement was difficult or impossible to be discovered analysis 5.

Although Hester had so much trouble with Pearl, she still felt Pearl was her only treasure. In a way she symbolizes a rose to her mother, but at other times she could be wilting. If Pearl had never been born, Hester would have never been found guilty of adultery, and thus never would have had to war that burden upon her chest.

Without that burden, she would have led a much better life. Hester becomes a highly respected person in a Puritan society by overcoming one of the harshest punishments, the scarlet letter puritan 1. Eventually, Hester inverts all the odds against here due to her courage, pride and effort. Hester became quite a popular seamstress, admired all over the town of Boston for her work.

The only piece of clothing forbidden to create was the wedding vail. Hester also becomes more sensitive to the feelings and needs of other people. The scarlet letter profound and important symbols in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne constantly worn by Hester with pride and dignity stack 34 2. Hester knew that what was done in the past was wrong and that the scarlet A was the right thing to do, therefore it is worn with a sense of pride. While Hester tries to make the best out of her situation, Dimmesdale becomes weaker by letting guilt and grief eat away at his conscience, reducing him to a shriveling, pathetic creature.

Dimmesdale can not accept the loss of innocence and go on from there. He must struggle futilely to get back to where he was. Dimmesdale punishes himself by believing that he can never be redeemed. It is cold and dead and can do nothing for me! The Reverend seems to want to reveal himself, at times he realizes his hypocrisy and comes to the verge of confession, only to retreat into vague proclamations of guilt.

Dimmesdale cannot surrender an identity which brings him the love and admiration of his parishioners. He is far too intent on his earthly image to willingly reveal his sin. This inability to confess causes Dimmesdale great anguish and self-hatred. Dimmesdale also believes that his sin has taken the meaning out of his life. He feels that he is a fraud and is not fit to lead the people of the town to salvation.

  1. Not but the meteor may have shown itself at that point, burning duskily through a veil of cloud; but with no such shape as his guilty imagination gave it; or, at least, with so little definiteness, that another's guilt might have seen another symbol in it.
  2. The rose bush is the symbol of passion. According to Goethe's definition, the classical allegory aims at providing the reader with a direct knowledge of what is meant, and establishes a conventional - and therefore immutable - relationship between an image and an abstract meaning.
  3. He walks through the town with twice as much energy as normal, and he barely stops himself from swearing to a fellow deacon. The symbolism of the settings and places.
  4. It is very curious to read criticisms upon pictures, and upon the same face in a picture, and by men of taste and feeling, and to find what different conclusions they arrive at.

The feeling is so oppressive that the chance of escaping his work and leaving with Hester and Pearl makes him emotionally and probably mentally unstable. He walks through the town with twice as much energy as normal, and he barely stops himself from swearing to a fellow deacon. When an old lady approaches him he can not remember any scriptures whatsoever to tell her, and the urge to use his power of persuasion over a young maiden is so strong that he covers his face with his cloak and runs off analysis 6.

His secret guilt is such a burden that instead of going with Hester to England and perhaps having a chance to live longer, he finally triumphs over his weakness.

On Elect day, after delivering a moving sermon, he ascends the scaffold and admits that he committed adultery with Hester and that Pearl is his daughter. His confession marks the climax of the novel. Dimmesdale it was whom the sorrows of death encompassed. His public confession is one of the noblest climaxes of tragic literature letter 3. Like the two other main characters, Chillingworth is both a victim and a sinner. He is a victim, first of all, of his own physical appearance and self-isolation.

  1. The narrator's work then appears as seditious from a social point of view. Hawthorne chooses to emphasize this point when talking about the education of Pearl, as he indicates that Hester does not comply with the educational values prescribed by "Scriptural authority.
  2. It is very curious to read criticisms upon pictures, and upon the same face in a picture, and by men of taste and feeling, and to find what different conclusions they arrive at.
  3. Add Puritan ideals and writing styles, making it long, drawn out, sleep inducing, tedious, dim-witted, and the end result is The Scarlet Letter. All that they lacked was the gift that descended upon the chosen disciples, at Pentecost, in tongues of flame; symbolizing, it would seem, not the power of speech in foreign and unknown languages, but that of addressing the whole human brotherhood in the heart's native language.
  4. The symbolism of the four characters.

He is small, thin, and slightly deformed, with a shoulder being higher than the other. This, coupled with the fact that he has devoted himself almost entirely to his studies, serves to cut him off from the rest of humanity letter 1.

He is also a victim of the events that took place before his arrival to the colony. First he is captured by the Indians. Then, while he is held captive and presumed dead, his wife had a child by another man.

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His first sin was when he married Hester. He knew that she would never marry him, and yet he made her marry him anyway. He admits this to Hester while they are talking in the jail cell. He soon becomes obsessed with his new mission in life. This obsession turns him from a peaceful scholar into a demon. He blames Dimmesdale for his destruction, but ultimately Chillingworth must take responsibility for his own transgression of sympathy.

Vengeance was also one of the reasons that Chillingworth gives up his identity. The only way he can truly corrupt Dimmesdale is to live with him and be by his side all day, every day. His largest sacrifice is by far, his own life. After spending so much time dwelling on his revenge, Chillingworth forgets that he still has a chance to lead a life of his own.

So accordingly, after Dimmesdale reveals his secret to the world, Chillingworth dies less than a year later because he has nothing left to live for. As the author mentioned earlier, The Scarlet Letter is pervaded with symbolism. One of the most prominent profound and important symbols in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne complex symbol has already been revealed.

However the novel revolves around two major symbols: The book is filled with light and darkness symbols because it represents the most common battle of all time, good versus evil. When Hester and her daughter are walking in the forest, Pearl exclaims: Mother, the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. There it is, playing, a good way off. Stand you here, and let me run and catch it. I am but a child.

It will not flee from me, for I wear nothing on my bosom yet Hawthorne Hester tries to stretch her hand into the circle of light, but the sunshine vanishes She then suggests that they go into the forest and rest The light represents what Hester wants to be, which is pure. Hester and Dimmesdale meet in the shadows of the forest with a gloomy sky and a threatening storm overhead when they discuss their plans for the future symbol 2.

It is later proven when Dimmesdale dies on the scaffold! Instead of leaving with Hester and going to England symbol 5. A final example occurs by the way Hester and Dimmesdale can not acknowledge their love in front of others. This emotion foretells that they will never last together openly because their sin has separated them too much from normal life. The scarlet letter also takes many different forms in the novel.

Hence, the people look at the letter elaborately embroidered with gold thread and see a worthless woman who is proud of her sin Hawthorne