Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the colors red, black, and others to represent Hester’s emotions and the emotions of those around her. The most frequently employed color symbol by Hawthorne is Red. It represents many different unique things in the novel. Hester’s sin is judged by sin, not by actions. The red letter “A” that Hester was forced to wear on her chest for committing adultery was a major symbol.
The Scarlet Letter is a novel with much symbolism. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols in the novel is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne. Pearl, throughout the story, develops into a dynamic symbol - one that is always changing. Although Pearl changes, she always symbolizes evil. Pearl symbolizes evil in the story by representing God's punishment of Hester's sin, symbolizing the guilt and the scarlet letter that controls her behavior and defying Puritan laws by being cheerful and associating with nature.
Because she lived in such a God driven and puritan town, the judicial system of the settlement had decided for her to acknowledge her sin by embroidering a vibrant scarlet letter “A” onto her dress to symbolize adultery. She was often ostracized from the rest of the town since she was forced to wear the crimson “A” everywhere she went. As well as the letter to remind her of the wrong she had done, the affair had left her with a fatherless daughter named Pearl. Later in the novel we discover the father is the Reverend of the town, the admirable Arthur Dimmesdale. Through pain, remorse and agony the novel reveals that it is better to tell a harmless lie then to confess a hurtful truth.
Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism to convey the theme that evil and good are in the eye of the beholder. The scarlet “A” that Hester is condemned to wear is a material brand of her sin. To the eyes of the community and Hester herself, the “A” is a sign of adultery, penance, and penitence. Although Hester sees it as this, she is not ashamed of her brand. This is demonstrated in the text “Those who had before known her, and had expected to behold her dimmed and obscured by a disastrous cloud, were astonished, and even startled, to perceive how her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignomity in which she was enveloped” (40).
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter deals with a plethora of issues not only prominent when the story was written but also prominent today. Some issues being: sin, corruption in society, guilt, revenge, hypocrisy and, above all truth. Hawthorne himself addresses the reader in saying, “Be true! Be true! Be true!
Nathaniel Hawthorne uses several literary elements while writing “The Scarlet Letter” to carefully craft the novel; such as biblical allusions, symbolism, and personification to portray the flaws of human nature. Biblical allusions are referred to throughout the novel to provide reader with an understanding of the nature of sin. He uses Dimmesdale as the main focus point towards this literary element during his death. Hawthorne also uses symbolism and it is present when the Black Man is mentioned, comparing human nature and the evil that can sometimes overcome it. Finally, personification helps bring out another theme, in which light and darkness show through nature in the book.
Hypocrisy, the Ungodly Sin Above all others The question of sin is a reoccurring theme in “The Scarlet letter”, where various sins, from Hestor’s adultery, to Dimmesdale’s cowardice, or Chillingworth’s revenge are put on display to be judged by the Puritan society, and also by the reader. In his novel, Hawthorne uses these smaller sins to display a deeper sin; the sin of Puritan hypocrisy. From the beginning of the book Hawthorne ridicules the Puritan society. As one of the first buildings in their new town, the Puritans build a prison. For a culture that is based strictly on the bible that teaches forgiveness, strangely the Puritans are quick to punish, and Hestor also becomes a victim of this.
Nathaniel Hawthorne has a very impressive way of using his mastery of irony to portray the truth of the characters in his remarkable novels. The Scarlet Letter, a novel taken place in sixteenth century about a young woman named Hester Prynne who wears an “A” on her chest as punishment for her adulterous actions with the minister of the town, Arthur Dimmesdale. Hawthorne uses the names of characters or their abilities to stand out from their true qualities. Puritans consider the town is what people have built up and the forest is the true goals and standards of the people. In the Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne conveys several different types of irony – not just in the characters but in the symbolism and true meanings as well.
The dramatic story really attracts readers’ attention, and what’s more, the meaningful themes of this outstanding work laid the foundation of its unique significance. The first theme I would like to discuss about is the sin of the three main characters, which is prevailingly illustrated in the novel. At the very beginning the sin is Hester’s adultery: a very serious breach of Puritan morality. Then it had its forms of Dimmesdale’s disguise and Chillingworth’s revenge. I have no beliefs in Christian, so Hester only appears to me as a woman who pursues her liberty and protects her true love.
Brutality is the actions of people who have the power of being cruel to others. This is thoroughly expressed in depth across the novel of ‘Briar Rose’ however; hope is also showed in the novel where people find hope either in themselves or through power of human spirit. The second dual chapter of the novel called ‘castle’ was told by Josef. The holocaust is an example of brutality as Josef re-tells his experiences in the holocaust. Yolen helps the reader understand that ‘Briar Rose’ is both about brutality and hope through the use of her distinctive prose fiction techniques and a variety of themes and techniques.