The Scarlett Letter

413 WordsMar 25, 20092 Pages
Symbolic Characters in The Scarlett Letter Symbolic characters are very important in most novels. The Scarlett Letter, written by Nathanial Hawthorne contains many symbolic preferences. Arthur Dimmesdale was a minister of the Puritan people. He was a well-known man, acknowledged for his integrity by most of the community. Rodger Chillingsworth was the spouse of Hester Prynne. When news came to surface that Dimmesdale was infact the father of Hester’s daughter, Pearl, Rodger Chillingsworth was nothing less than furious. Chillingsworth is an extremely symbolic character, symbolizing a life consumed with revenge. In the beginning of the novel Rodger was mostly a normal man. Throughout the novel though, the revenge he had wanted so badly for Dimmesdale’s mishap with his wife, ate away at him until he transformed himself into a different person, with resemblance of the devil. The symbol working in Rodger, living to destroy, shows that tearing another person down causes just as much damage to one’s self. Another symbolic character was Pearl. Pearl symbolizes secret sin. She is wild, and uncontrolled, two objectives that played a role in the sin of her mother. Many characteristics describing Pearl relate to sin, such as her sturdy pride, and her unflinching courage, being like unrecognized sin. When sin is discovered, it changes, like when Pearl discovered Arthur Dimmesdale was her father, her character changed completely, and began to love her father, contraire to her feelings towards when they first met. After Pearl began to love her father, she was no longer a wild child, she was calm and peaceful. Lastly, The Letter “A”, was extremely symbolic in the novel. Hawthorne establishes that Hester is to wear an embroidery of the letter “A” to mark her as an adulterer. At first, the “A” is a symbol of shame, but as the story progresses, the shameful “A” becomes a

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