Symbolisms in the Scarlet Letter

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There are plenty of symbolisms in the novel ‘The Scarlet Letter’ by Nathaniel Hawthorn. He uses symbolisms to add a deeper level of meaning in the novel. The first symbolism can be found in the very main actress herself who is Hester Prynne. Her name ‘Prynne’ which rhymes with sin shows that in the novel, she is a sinner and is seen as a fallen woman. She is demonstrated as the effect of punishment on sensitivity and human nature and as a criminal who deserves the disgrace of her sinful choice. Hester is branded the scarlet letter, which is the imprint of sin by the Puritans. That one imprint has directly restrained her spirit and daintiness which makes her a boring woman. To show that impression of dullness, Hawthorne has personified her with the colour gray. She is always wearing nothing but drab gray gowns in the novel. Hester’s strife in accepting the scarlet letter’s symbol portrays people’s strife in choosing what is morally right. This strife in her slowly changed her to become a resolute woman instead of just becoming the inflicted of the Puritan mark. Through the shame and alienation, she is able to speculate on human nature, social organization and larger moral questions. This is shown in Chapter 18 where Hawthorne writes, “The tendency of her fate and fortunes had been to set her free. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread.” Owing to that fact, she is able to sympathize with society’s victim and thus makes the letter she is wearing slowly being seen by the community as being “Able” or “Angel” instead of “Adultery”. Her symbolic meaning is being turned from a person who is messed up to an able and perceptive woman. In Chapter 24, it says that “the scarlet letter ceased to be a stigma which attracted the world's scorn and bitterness, and became a type of something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe,
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