The letter "A" stands for adulteress, although this is never said explicitly in the novel. After the night of 3 Februarywhen he read the final part of the novel to his wife, he told a friend that "it broke her heart … which I look upon as a triumphant success. As a consequence, Hawthorne places the reader at the heart of the artistic process, as he explained later in his Notebooks: First signet Classic Printing, She is seen as a fallen woman, a culprit who deserves the ignominy of her immoral choice.
As a consequence of such a use of symbols, no definite truth can be established, and truth itself becomes an uncertain concept. The symbol becoming more and more obscure and esoteric, it finally lost its power to shed light on the world and became a pure sign.
Chillingworth, losing his will for revenge, dies shortly thereafter and leaves Pearl a substantial inheritance. Hester was rejected by the villagers even though she spent her life doing what she could to help the sick and the poor. This is particularly obvious in the following quotation: Secretly, he hoped for much more.
When Dimmesdale leaves the forest with his escape plan in mind, he is tempted to sin on numerous occasions during his journey back to the village.
Among the other symbols we see in the book is the sun and its shining. But, similar to the characters, the context determines what role the light or colors play. Hester is a Fallen Woman with a symbol of her guilt.
It is no surprise then to see him place the letter on his breast, as Daniel's reward is to be "clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold around his neck" Daniel, 5: When the novel begins, the letter A is a symbol of sin.
As Hester approaches the scaffoldmany of the women in the crowd are angered by her beauty and quiet dignity. In literature, a symbol is most often a concrete object used to represent an idea more abstract and broader in scope and meaning — often a moral, religious, or philosophical concept or value.
The Church and State are ubiquitous forces to contend with in this colony, as Hester finds out to her dismay. Many people say that Hester and Arthur never committed adultery because Hester, in their minds, was never actually married. This leads Hawthorne to a double interrogation, one on a metaphysical level, and one on a social level.
To conclude this study, I would like to insist on the idea that the multiplication of interpretations of the "mystic symbol" constitutes the best proof of its nature as a symbol: Here in the forest, she is free and in harmony with nature.
Predominant colors are black and gray, and the gloom of the community is omnipresent. But Dimmesdale is trapped in the literal meaning of the letter for the very reason that he refuses it. The letter was the symbol of her calling. It can be viewed as separating the book into the beginning, middle, and end.
The very ideal of ignominy was embodied and made manifest in this contrivance of wood and iron. The objects that had made a shadow hitherto, embodied the brightness now.
Symbols[ edit ] The following are symbols that are embedded in The Scarlet Letter: Nighttime, however, is the symbol of concealment, and Dimmesdale stands on the scaffold at midnight, concealing his confession from the community. In all these examples, the meaning of the symbol depends on the context and sometimes the interpreter.
Tormented by his guilty conscience, Dimmesdale goes to the square where Hester was punished years earlier.
It provides a link between the interpretative process within the story - the discovery of the identity of Pearl's father by Chillingworth - and the interpretative process at work in "The Custom-House" - the discovery of the meaning of the scarlet letter by the narrator.
The chapter ends with another interpretation of the symbol that appeared in the sky: The outward man reflects the condition of the heart; an observation thought inspired by the deterioration of Edgar Allan Poewhom Hawthorne "much admired".Throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter, the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a few key symbols to represent major themes in the book.
The most obvious and well known, as it is in the title, is the scarlet letter Hester is forced to wear. The Scarlet Letter, published inis set in Puritan New England in the 17th century.
Exploring the issues of grace, legalism, and guilt, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, a Puritan woman who commits adultry then struggles to create a new life. Source: Hawthorne, N.
(). The Scarlet Letter. Boston, MA: Ticknor and Fields. Nathaniel Hawthorn’s The Scarlet Letter widely employs the use of a number of symbolisms to depict his themes and to pass messages in the novel.
The first and most conspicuous use of symbolism is in the title of the book, the scarlet letter Hester is compelled to wear. But the scarlet letter uplifts the theme from the material to the spiritual level.
It is the concentration and type of the whole argument. It transmutes the prose into poetry. Hawthorne has a perfect atmosphere for the symbols in The Scarlet Letter because the Puritans saw the world through allegory.
For them, simple patterns, like the meteor streaking through the sky, became religious or moral interpretations for human events.
Within The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne incorporates symbolism to expose a deeper meaning in the story. The first and most obvious symbol that Hawthorne displays is the embroidery of the letter "A" given to Hester to wear as a reminder to the town of her adultery.4/5(K).Download