Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

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Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter is one of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous works. It is about the complex struggle among Hester Prynne (a condemned adulteress), Arthur Dimmesdale ( one of the community’s ministers) ,Roger Chillingworth ( Hester’s estranged husband) and Pearl ( Hester’s daughter). The story begins with the public punishment of the young woman Hester Prynne in mid-17th century Boston. She is forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” over her breast, so that everyone can know about her adultery- she becomes pregnant during her husband’s long absence. No matter how the public despise and exclude her, Hester is always refusing to reveal the name of Pearl’s father and keep doing good things for the pubic and finally win respect from others. Hester Prynne’s long lost husband, Chillingworth, asks her not to tell anyone that he is her husband. His plan is to disguise himself so that he can find out and seek revenge on Hester’s lover. Chillingworth soon realizes that the minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, is the likely father of Hester’s baby, and he hurts the minister’s mind and soul by pretending to be his close friend, day and night, for the next seven years, which leads to the long-lasting suffering life of Dimmedale. At the end of the story, Dimmesdale confesses his sin to the public on the scaffold and finally finds peace through confession. Chillingworth dies a year after Dimmesdale and leaves all his money and property to Pearl. Hester and Pearl finally escape the community and return to England. One of the distinguished features of The Scarlet Letter is Hawthorne’s use of symbolism. It can be clearly seen from the title of the book and the characters in the story. The most obvious symbol is the scarlet letter itself, which has various meanings depending on different people and context. For example, in the second scaffold scene, the

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