Scarlet Letter And Symbolism

Scarlet Letter And Symbolism

In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses many different objects and people as symbols to express his message throughout the book. He begins using a plant, then the namesake of the book, then continues on to uses two people as symbols to get his message across. Although seemingly simple, all of these symbols are extremely complex, and used in a multitude of ways.
First, the rosebush outside the prison; in the first chapter, it is used as a symbol of hope, or maybe a symbol of redemption. It represents a glimmer of happiness outside the grim, ugly walls and heavy oaken door of the prison. Later in the book, when asked of where she came by the governor, Pearl says she was ?plucked ? off the bush of wild roses that grew by the prison door??, as if the bush represented her mother?s only salvation from the harsh prison, or even a physical manifestation of Hester?s love for her daughter. This answer to this question strongly resembles Hester?s openly defiant stature when asked who the father of her baby was during the first scaffold scene.
Perhaps the most complex symbol in the book is the most

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