How Does Nathaniel Hawthorne Use Symbols In The Scarlet Letter

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Alex Almer Mrs. Voshell Honors English 10 8 January 2016 Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Use of Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a large amount of symbolism in his book, The Scarlet Letter. “The characters and the action are soaked in symbolism” (Wagenknecht 61). Symbolism is the use of an object, character, or event to represent something else. Hawthorne uses the symbols in the book to convey the meanings of the story in a creative, interesting way. Hawthorne uses all of the main characters and many objects as symbols throughout the book. Four examples of symbolism used in the book are the four main characters, Hester, Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, and Pearl. The symbolism in these four characters all symbolize the effects of sin. Their symbolism can be used to develop themes of the story as well. Symbolism is a great way to communicate these ideas. In The Scarlet Letter, Hester is an important symbol. Hester symbolizes repented sin. Hester has a hard life after her sin, but she does not live with any guilt of her sin because everyone already knows about it. Her punishment is less severe because of this. The inference can be…show more content…
The meaning or moral of the story is “Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!” (Hawthorne 286). This means that you should not hide your bad qualities or bad things that you have done, because if you do not hide them, it will work out better in the end for you. Support for the moral of the story can be seen in the symbolism of the characters. Hester stands for sin repented, which is the concept of the moral. Dimmesdale stands for hidden sin, which is the opposite of the moral. Comparing the outcomes of both of their lives, Dimmesdale dies because he feels so guilty. Hester moves on to have a long, decent life. This backs up Hawthorne’s belief in the

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