A brief analysis of the symbolism in the scarlet letter

The Puritan community sees Hester as a fallen woman, Dimmesdale as a saint, and would have seen the disguised Chillingworth as a victim — a husband betrayed. The Puritan kids are taught to contemn Hester for her criminal conversation.

the scarlet letter pearl symbolism quotes

Its meaning then becomes indefinite. Thus, using his characters as symbols, Hawthorne discloses the grim underside of Puritanism that lurks beneath the public piety.

what does chillingworth symbolize in the scarlet letter

Sin and its acknowledgment humanize Dimmesdale. Black and gray are colors associated with the Puritans, gloom, death, sin, and the narrow path of righteousness through the forest of sin. She is the scarlet letter in the flesh, a reminder of Hester's sin. The same is the case of Chillingworth. But, similar to the characters, the context determines what role the light or colors play.

What does the scarlet letter symbolize

Dimmesdale sees Pearl as the "freedom of a broken law"; Hester sees her as "the living hieroglyphic" of their sin; and the community sees her as the result of the devil's work. Then it means able. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. The Church and State are ubiquitous forces to contend with in this colony, as Hester finds out to her dismay. Whereas the Puritans translated such rituals into moral and repressive exercises, Hawthorne turns their interpretations around in The Scarlet Letter. They are sunlight and shadow. In the Puritan regulation this is an severe wickedness, so they dominate the judicial side of her penalty.

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. When Dimmesdale confesses his sin in the light of the sun, Pearl is free to become a human being. The prison door is a symbol of punishment given to the culprits and jail inmates for their crimes.

But Pearl reminds her mother that the sun will not shine on the sinful Hester; it does shine, however, when Hester passionately lets down her hair.

It means it is a symbol of cover. I feel the symbolism helps to associate a state of affairs to a place the reader knows about.

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The Scarlet Letter