Literary Elements in the Scarlet Letter

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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. “The Scarlet Letter” uses these literary elements to make the plot more interesting and creative. The main purpose behind this story is to make the idea of ‘no secret sin’ present. Biblical allusions, symbolism, and personification all can help the reader focus on the main idea left by Hawthorne. Biblical allusions are used to show how sin becomes shown through judgment and the resurrection. Hawthorne uses Dimmesdale’s death to display this and relate to the death of all sinners. “The last day is, of course, described in the Book of Revelation, and here imagined as the day "when all hidden things will be revealed," particularly "the secrets buried with a human heart,”” (Smith) The point trying to be made is that even secret sin will become public on a sinner’s last day. Hawthorne relates the event when Dimmesdale admits his sin to the whole crowd and to the Book of Revelation in the bible. Jesus says that all that is covered will be uncovered. This is just what occurs when Hester, Dimmesdale, and Pearl stand upon the scaffold. “He publicly, at noontide from the elevation of the scaffold, acknowledges the guilt he had seen God revealing to him in the darkness during his "visionary" night on
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