An analysis of symbolism in the chapters of the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

Analysis, Summary, Themes You are here: English The Scarlet Letter: Analysis, Summary,… The Scarlet Letter is a novel that deals with the never-ending theme of sin.

An analysis of symbolism in the chapters of the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

Next to him is a small man, whom Hester recognizes as her husband, Mr. She doesn't reveal his identity, however, and he lifts a finger to his lips to make sure she keeps quiet. He asks people in the crowd why she is on the scaffold and learns of her crime.

The Scarlet Letter Analysis Essay | CourseNotes

He also learns that, because of his own presumed death and his long absence, she has been spared the harshest punishment that is, death for adultery. Governor Bellingham and several magistrates sit in the balcony over the scaffold. Upon looking up at them, Hester pales, seeing no sympathy in their hearts.

This clergyman wants Hester to speak of her sin in the open, but his colleague, Reverend Dimmesdale, disagrees.

In explaining this, the first clergyman puts Dimmesdale on the spot, and the Reverend feels compelled to stand and ask Hester for the name of her lover.

An analysis of symbolism in the chapters of the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

He does this despite the fact that he is the culprit. When Hester refuses to reveal the name of the baby's father, the first clergyman to speak delivers a sermon on the horrors of sin, focusing particularly on that symbolized by the scarlet letter. Though aware of the crowd's condemnation, Hester glazes over, unmoved by the sermon, and is eventually taken back to prison.

Alliteration Hawthorne is fond of alliteration, and he uses it frequently. One example of this can be found at the end of the chapter, when he writes that Hester "seemed scarcely to sympathize" with Pearl's crying. In response to the clergyman's evidently melodramatic sermon, the Puritans of Boston see the fires of hell in the scarlet letter.

Traditionally, the color red is associated with love, passion, and heat, all of which are linked to sin in this novel. Note that the color red will be used sparingly in this novel, making the scarlet of the letter A all the more vivid.

Prynne here identified only as "the stranger" repeats the ominous promise "he will be known" three times. This emphasizes his determination to discover the identity of Pearl's father. Simile Hawthorne uses many similes in this chapter.

One example is found in the way horror washes over Chillingworth's facial features "like a snake gliding softly over them. In this chapter, Hawthorne introduces two different kinds of fatherhood: When he implores Hester to "give [her] child a father," he means both that she should reveal his name and free him from the binds that prevent him from being a father to Pearl.

Guilt and sin go hand in hand in this novel, and both are symbolized by the scarlet letter sewn onto Hester's clothes. Though Hester claims that the mark can never be removed because it's "too deeply branded," there's some question as to whether or not she feels guilty.


Certainly, she understands the shame of the letter and intends to bear the agony alone, but this could be interpreted as capitulation to necessity rather than guilt. Reverend Dimmesdale, on the other hand, appears crushed under the weight of his guilt.(Click the symbolism infographic to download.) Hester's scarlet letter is a hardworking symbol.

At various times, it symbolizes adultery, sin, hard work, skill, charity, righteousness, sacredness. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Step 1 Class discussion with students In the mid s, the time setting of the novel, the church played a very big role in society.

In "A Literary Analysis of The Scarlet Letter" (pp. , 8), Johnson explores how Pearl and her reactions to the scarlet letter clarify the meaning of the symbol. "Creativity, passion, and joy" as well as nature, truth and honesty are elements that embody the letter A as shown by Pearl's behavior, curiosity, and personality.

The Scarlet Letter: A Romance, an novel, is a work of historical fiction written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is considered his "masterwork". Set in 17th-century Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, during the years to , it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to .

The Scarlet Letter, published in , is set in Puritan New England in the 17th century. Exploring the issues of grace, legalism, and guilt, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, a Puritan woman who commits adultry then struggles to create a new life.

Source: Hawthorne, N. (). The Scarlet Letter. Students should write a literary analysis that examines how word choice, tone, and symbolism help to structure and develop the characters, setting, and events, thus revealing the central ideas of The Scarlet Letter.

The Scarlet Letter - Wikipedia