On the Symbolism of The Scarlet Letter Essay


Nathaniel Hawthorne is a good romantic novelist in the usa inside 19th century. His novel, The Scarlet Letter, is generally accepted as the first United states psychological novel published by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It reveals the mental insight with which Hawthorne proved guilt and anxiety in the human soul. The Scarlet Letter is profoundly focused on ethical dilemmas of sin, punishment, and atonement. The backdrop associated with tale is placed in Salem, Massachusetts, a strictly controlled Puritan city with harsh regulations and tough prejudices.

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Hester Prynne, a young wife whose husband is assumed dead, has been publicly humiliated the sin of adultery. The proof of the woman sin is the woman baby woman Pearl. She conceals the identity of Pearl’s dad to safeguard him from the harsh judgment of Puritan legislation.

She however is doomed to spend the others of the woman life marked as an adulterer by wearing a scarlet “A” on her chest. Hester’s husband at the same time has arrived in colony and taken up training as a health care provider. He makes Hester promise that she'll maybe not reveal their identification to anybody. It is the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, who is celebrated as a particularly holy and pious man. Wracked by guilt he starts to show outward signs of serious infection. Hester’s husband underneath the thought name Roger Chillingworth moves in begins caring for Dimmesdale. Chillingworth soon discovers that he's Pearl’s daddy. For revenge, Chillingworth utilizes their impact to grow the emotions of guilt in minister as a type of emotional torture. At orgasm of tale, Dimmesdale confesses his sin and dies.

Hester and Pearl leave the colony. Chillingworth’s gets the objective of revenge but all of a sudden finds his life meaningless and dies within annually. Hawthorne is outstanding in literary abilities, especially in symbolism. Inside novel, symbolism operates through the whole novel where in actuality the scarlet page “A”, the characters of story while the settings are endowed with a deep symbolic importance. The primary symbolism associated with the novel is represented by the colors, the scarlet letter “A”, the four main characters plus the settings. The wide utilization of symbolism makes their figures to be recalled embodiment of mental traits or ethical ideas. Few literary works works equals The Scarlet Letter in strength and effective use of pictures and symbols.


This paper tries to illustrate Nathaniel Hawthorne’s wide utilization of symbolism in their masterpiece The Scarlet Letter, which will show its profound significance when dealing with the sin and the challenge regarding the individual soul inside harsh Puritan culture. The paper is mainly divided by sixth parts: the first component could be the introduction associated with the writer while the unique The Scarlet Letter; the second reason is the symbolism and its own connection with all the novel; the third is the symbolic meaning associated with the scarlet letter “A”; then symbolic meaning of this four figures; the 5th component may be the symbolic meaning associated with settings along with the places; the very last component could be the summary associated with paper.

Literature Review:

Many studies have related to the symbolism in Scarlet Letter. In the past, studies are mainly dedicated to the symbolism of “A”, the key figures, the settings, additionally the places. This paper analyzes the symbolism in The Scarlet Letter methodically. The research in the symbolism of Scarlet Letter “A”: There are many studies concerning the Scarlet Letter “A”, such as for instance Zeng Yanbo’s The Symbolism in Scarlet Letter. In her paper, he points out the letter A’s implied meaning changes whilst the plot develops; first it seems whilst the symbol of guilt of adultery. After that it changes into symbolic of alone and alienation, then into amazon, adamant and avenger, also it becomes symbolic of able and angel, finally it changes into aspiration for the new way life, in addition to amour and admire between Arthur and Hester. The symbolism for the four major figures: in Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne gives various symbolic definitions on four major figures.

In Liu Huijuan’s paper in the Symbolic Meaning in Hawthorne’s Works The Scarlet letter, the writer studies your heroine’s title Hester Prynne contains the meaning of beauty, passion, amour, admiration and aspiraion. Even though the hero, Arthur Dimmesdale, whose initials advertising, which also stands for adultery .The title of Hester’s spouse Roger Chillingworth means agony, anguish and avenger. Hester and Arthur’s daughter’s title Pearl provides the meaning of precious, glorious and good virtue. The symbolism associated with settings: into the novel, settings are one of major aspects of symbolism, including the scaffold, that will be the dominating point at the beginning, in the centre, as well as the finish regarding the tale.

In Zeng Yanbo’s On Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter, he illustrates your jail represents the cruelty of this Puritan Society. The rose bush may be the sign of passion. Sunlight could be the sign of aspiration. Many people aren’t consider taking care of of this novel. Zhang Julan makes a profound conversation about the symbolism in Scarlet Letter, and reveals the value of symbolism inside novel. Besides, she also covers the sin, atonement and redemption for the God inside novel. In these articles, all of them research the symbolism inside Scarlet Letter therefore the great need for symbolism. This paper is focus on the symbolism in detail predicated on above research results.

Thesis Statement:

Symbolism: A symbol is one thing concrete that represents or suggests one more thing that can’t be pictured alone. The application of description of some outward object is show some concealed meaning. Symbols are always in relationship, context and association, with which writers can alter numerous ideas into single, easy functions of understanding. Into the Scarlet Letter, symbolism runs through the complete novel. Hawthorne’s increased exposure of symbolism usually makes the figures shadowy but with implied meaning to chew. The key symbolism associated with the novel is represented by the colors, the scarlet page “A”, the four main figures, the settings additionally the places.


Nathaniel Hawthorne is a superb intimate novelist in the usa in the nineteenth century. His novel, The Scarlet Letter, is generally accepted as initial US novel with symbolic meaning from the very beginning to your end. In The Scarlet Letter, the symbolic meaning are divided in to these several aspects: The symbolism associated with the colors: It is commonly agreed that colors are used extensively as symbols inside Scarlet Letter. The most frequently employed color symbol by the writer is red. Red represents Hester’s sin, as shown by the page “A”. The usage of the red colorization expresses exactly how in a different way Hester and Pearl are seen by individuals of Puritan Society, that are shameful for Hester’s adultery. Besides, the red colorization, along side images of bright glow, shows Pearl become the merchandise of an instant of passion between Hester and Dimmesdale.

As a red icon of Hester’s sin, Pearl is normally identified because of the color red. The symbolic meaning associated with the page “A”: the page “A” has many symbolic meanings within paper. Regarding the Christianity, “A” stands for forbidden apple taken by Adam and Eve; “A” for the work associated with Apostles; “A” for Arrogance. For Hester, “A” stands for alone, alienation, in a position, angel, aspiration and admiration. For Roger Chillingworth, “A” means amazon, adamant and avenger. The symbolism regarding the four characters: Hawthorne used the four characters as symbols in Scarlet Letter. The four symbolize different factors of sin.

Hester Prynne means exactly how sin will make yet another separate and more powerful, and Arthur Demmesdale symbolizes the harm of hidden sin. Pearl symbolizes the residing scarlet page with sunlight. Roger Chillingworth may be the sign of revenge. The symbolism of settings and places: in novel, settings are among major elements of symbolism. Like, the jail symbolizes the harshness of this Puritan community; the scaffold symbolizes the redemption of Hester and Arthur; the rosebush symbolizes the passion and amour between Hester and Arthur; sunlight symbolizes wish.

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