ÃÂMother,ÃÂ said little Pearl, ÃÂthe sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom.ÃÂ In Nathaniel HawthorneÃÂs The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne has committed the sin of adultery and wears a scarlet ÃÂAÃÂ on her chest to condemn her. Hawthorne develops the personalities of Hester Prynne, Pearl, and Arthur Dimmesdale by using the function of light and dark images in his writing. In Edgar Allan PoeÃÂs ÃÂThe Fall of The House of UsherÃÂ, the House of Usher is presented in the eyes of the narrator as a dark, foreboding house, and in an effort to reason in order to see things in a brighter light, looks into a mirror, but looking back at him are the eye-like windows of that dark and gloomy house. Poe uses chiaroscuro to express light images of the subject and then turn them into dark parallels.
Throughout The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses the literary device of Chiaroscuro to represent the development of his characters while similarly Poe uses the technique in ÃÂThe Fall of the House of UsherÃÂ to develop his gloomy themes and somber settings.
Hawthorne uses chiaroscuro to show Hester Prynne as a woman whose sin has overtaken her, and made her impure. One example of this is: ÃÂThe motherÃÂsÃÂ medium through which were transmitted to the unborn infant the rays of its moral life; and however white and clear originally, they had taken the deep stains of crimson and gold, the fiery luster, the black shadow, and the untempered light, of the intervening substance.ÃÂ This quote shows that HesterÃÂs sin was so powerful, that it had absorbed into Pearl even before she was born. Another quote that shows the depth of HesterÃÂs sin is: ÃÂThe light lingered about the lonely child,