The light is chasing her no matter where she goes. But many of Hawthorne's symbols change — particularly his characters — depending on their treatment by the community and their reactions to their sins. She had returned, therefore, and resumed,—of her own free will, for not the sternest magistrate of that iron period would have imposed it,—resumed the symbol of which we have related so dark a tale. Here Hester is hidden by the gigantic, magnified symbol just as her life and feelings are hidden behind the sign of her sin. What are some other symbols you noticed while reading the novel? This might get a little complicated, so take it slow.
But… 1465 Words 6 Pages The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a novel about a young woman who commits adultery and is forced to wear the letter A, which symbolizes adultery, on her chest. He is unable to reveal his sin. In the end, the letter comes to symbolize Hester's triumph over the very forces that meant to punish her. She is not physically imprisoned, and leaving the Massachusetts Bay Colony would allow her to remove the scarlet letter and resume a normal life. As we discussed in class, Hawthorne tries to make the Puritans look bad.
The Meteor — As Dimmesdale stands on the scaffold in chapter 12, a meteor flashes an 'A' across the sky. As a result of their knowledge, Adam and Eve are made aware of their humanness, that which separates them from the divine and from other creatures. This letter completely ruined her reputation in her community. Colors: Hester dresses herself in dull colors to show her melancholy mood, but dresses Pearl with bright colors to represent the scarlet letter + to show that Pearl is full of life. At various times, it symbolizes adultery, sin, hard work, skill, charity, righteousness, sacredness, and, of course, grace. At night and always with the physician, the letter is associated with darkness and evil; in the other associations, it is a part of nature, passion, lawlessness, and imagination. Hester plans to skip town and go back to Europe with Dimmesdale.
Finally, it shows that something beautiful can grow in the coldest of climates. Pearl pointed upward, also, at a similar picture in the head-piece; smiling at her mother, with the elfish intelligence that was so familiar an expression on her small physiognomy. But it doesn't, and Hawthorne knows that. Some of Hawthorne's symbols change their meaning, depending on the context, and some are static. Red roses often symbolize passion,and certainly Hester's pregnancy is evidence of a passion she has experienced.
But it also results in knowledge—specifically, in knowledge of what it means to be human. To her mother, she is a constant reminder of her sin, a very obvious reminder. The last of the four major symbols in the book is the forest. Hester sees the letter as a symbol of unjust humiliation. More times than not, it represents reverent, profound, or virtuous concepts of merit. Because God has control over nature, He is happy with them. Here had been her sin; here, her sorrow; and here was yet to be her penitence.
There is pure evil in his intentions, and he is a man set out to avenge himself. His sole purpose in life becomes revenge. Here in the forest, she is free and in harmony with nature. Pearl symbolizes the physical form of the Scarlet Letter; she is a constant reminder of Hester's sin and of the unsolved mystery of her nameless father. Throughout the book, we see that the sun shines on Pearl quite often, but never on Hester. The Rosebush at the Prison Door — The reader is greeted immediately with the symbol of a rosebush in an otherwise dreary setting.
The forest represents a natural world, governed by natural laws, as opposed to the artificial, Puritan community with its man-made laws. The significance of symbolism gives a poetic style to the characters of the story. However, when Dimmesdale dies after confessing his sins, the doctor does not have any purpose left in life, and passes away soon enough. In the end, even the grave of Dimmesdale and Hester is in darkness. It also seems to be, at times, the light of truth and grace.
Hester plans to skip town and go back to Europe with Dimmesdale. Little Pearl—who was as greatly pleased with the gleaming armour as she had been with the glittering frontispiece of the house—spent some time looking into the polished mirror of the breastplate. She is natural law unleashed, the freedom of the unrestrained wilderness, the result of repressed passion. The Scarlet Letter is a book of much symbolism. They are both weak and fragile. By saying this, Hester is continuing the belief of the Puritans in the story, who see the forest as dark, or evil, as the place where the witches go at night to have meetings, and a home of the devil.