The reader is thus invited to consider the whole story as a progressive uncovering of the "truth" of a symbol that constitutes one of the most enigmatic elements of American literature. Critics over the years focused on this search for a hidden significance, and put forward their own interpretation of this "truth. The narrator frequently uses this word throughout the romance, and its various occurrences enable us to shape a definition that corresponds to his personal use of symbols. From this starting point, I would like to show how Hawthorne stages the interpretative process within The Scarlet Letter, and how this provides keys for the reader on how to read them.
Literary Terms Symbolism and Imagery in The Scarlet Letter The scarlet letter is a Romance which has constant interaction between the real and the imaginative. The Scarlet Letter The most important symbol is scarlet letter itself.
It represents the various layers of meaning that Hawthorne wishes to convey through the plight of Hester Prynne.
But the dominating implications of the letter Scarlet A remains a badge of shame for Hester that she is doomed to wear for the rest of her days to come because she has had a child out of wedlock. Hawthorne has shown great skill in handling the symbol A in the novel.
He never tells in many words what the symbols stands for. Neither Hester nor the reader is allowed to forget it. It comes to have an evil or sinister significance for Hester. She is perpetually and keenly aware of the stigma on bosom. It is symbolic of the sin that she has committed and even though she does not at any stage think herself to be a sinner, it constantly reinforces the Puritan belief in the Original Sin, the breaking of the Seventh Commandment, to the community.
Hester is treated as a social outcast and the scarlet letter makes her feel a burning sensation on her bosom. Pearl is delighted to see the magnified reflection, which greatly distresses Hester who feels that it is not her own child but an imp making fun of her.
Pearl of courseis the living embodiment of the scarlet letter. She never forgets the symbol, which is constantly the center of her attraction and in her thoughts. It has a strange fascination for her. She cannot see her mother without the scarlet letter.
Only when Hester picks it up and places it on her bosom that Pearl is mollified. Pearl keeps pestering her mother about the meaning and significance of the symbol, thus, torturing her with incessant reminders of her moral trespass.
The imagery of the heart plays another significant role in The Scarlet Letter. Arthur Dimmesdale is always seen with his hand over his heart. It is a symbol of remorse in the minister and a mark of punishment for Hester. But to the townspeople, it stands for Angel which good Governor Winthrop has become after his death.
It points to her independent character. Although her skill at needle work is greatly admired and is always in demand, Hester is not commissioned to embroider even a single wedding dress.
Here needle work functions as a symbol, indicative of the attitude of the puritan settlers towards sin, guilt and penitence. The exclusion of her needle from embroidering a wedding dress symbolizes the harshness of the Puritan attitude.
Another symbol employed in the novel is the brook flowing with a sad murmuring sound.A summary of Themes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Scarlet Letter and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Symbol and Interpretation in Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter.
By Dr. Stephanie Carrez paper delivered at the conference of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society, celebrating the Hawthorne bicentennial in .
The Scarlet Letter: A Romance, an novel, is a work of historical fiction written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is considered his "masterwork". Set in 17th-century Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, during the years to , it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and lausannecongress2018.comher: Ticknor, Reed & Fields.
Symbol and Interpretation in Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter. By Dr. Stephanie Carrez paper delivered at the conference of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society, celebrating the Hawthorne bicentennial in . Hawthorne also likely employs symbolism in order to illuminate, more clearly and more visibly, the novel's themes.
For example, toward the end of chapter 1, "The Prison Door," Hawthorne introduces. Pearl as a Symbol in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Pearl as a Symbol in The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a book of much symbolism.
One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in this novel is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne.