Analysis of The Scarlett Letter

Essay by bccocxHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.5

In The Scarlet Letter there are many instances of symbolism. As easily noticed with the title of the book, the use of a scarlet letter is very repetitive. Hawthorne's use of the letter is simplistic yet very intricate. The A first symbolizes "adultery" but later stands for "able." The A also has the deep meaning of "In Adam's fall/We sinned all" which derives from the early seventeenth century. This means that we are all guilty of sins, and in Hester's case, adultery. The letter A not only stands for this, but there is a large spectrum of things the letter A does represent. The A can also represent "amour, art, ambiguity, allegory, and America." The use of the letter in this book can become very tedious but is almost essential to keep the point of the scarlet letter's importance alive. The appearance of the letter in the sky is said to be an "apparition" that can only be seen and believed only by certain people.

The symbolism in the book is very important to how it is tied together (Austin 1).

The writing of The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne relates to his own life in some aspects. After the election of President Zachary Taylor in 1848, Hawthorne was fired from his job at the Salem Custom House. This led to a public protest because he had held himself "above partisan politics" and didn't want to be treated like a political "party hack." After the political controversy he wrote this novel which was galvanized to show that Hawthorne was not a "sacked government bureaucrat" but rather an artist. This book shows one belief of Hawthorne: that the normal person should not be "publicly branded an evildoer" (Lorie 1).

Hawthorne's inspiration for some of the characters in this book came from his...