Scarlet Lette1

Scarlet Lette1 - Scarlet Letter's Use Of Symbolism To Show...

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Scarlet Letter's Use Of Symbolism To Show Psychological Effects Of Sin "The act…gross and brief, and brings loathing after it." This was said by St. Augustine, regarding immorality. This is discovered to be very true by the main characters in The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne's story of a woman (Hester) who lives with the Puritans and commits adultery with the local minister (Dimmesdale). In his novel, Hawthorne shows that sin, known or unknown to the community, isolates a person from their community and from God. He shows us this by symbols in nature around the town, natural symbols in the heavens, and nature in the forest. First we see two symbols in the town that show how sin isolates people. In the first chapter we see a plant which stands out, "But on one side of the portal, and rooted almost at the threshold, was a wild rosebush, covered… with its delicate gems" (Hawthorne, 46). This rosebush is like Hester, for it too stands out as wild and different. She wears her scarlet letter among the solemnly dressed Puritans as this rosebush wears its scarlet blossoms amidst a small plot of grass and weeds. They both stand separate from their surroundings. Later in the book we hear a conversation between Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth (Hester's unknown husband). They are discussing the origin of a strange dark plant that Chillingworth discovered. "I found them growing on a grave which bore no tombstone, nor other memorial of the dead man, save these ugly weeds that have taken upon themselves to keep him in remembrance. They grew out of his heart, and typify…some hideous secret that was buried with him…" (Hawthorne, 127). Here we have a special case of one who was not discovered
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Scarlet Lette1 - Scarlet Letter's Use Of Symbolism To Show...

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