"The Scarlet Letter"

Essay by white_babeHigh School, 11th grade January 2006

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In the novel "The Scarlet Letter", Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a lot of symbolism. Some symbols in the novel include the red letter "A", the Black Man, and the leech. Another symbol he uses is the black plant.

The red letter "A" at the beginning of the novel symbolized a crime of passion. The color red usually means passion and since Hester is wearing it for her crime of adultery, it can be understood to mean a crime of passion. Hester expiated for her crime by accepting to wear the letter. The letter was intended to be a stigma. The stigma was embarrassment. The letter was to embarrass Hester and to show the people what would happen if they did this. This showing of the crime makes the people want not to make the mistake Hester made. So it works as a stigma of embarrassment. Later in the novel people start to consider the "A" as meaning able.

What this means is the Hester was able to do many things and did them.

Throughout the novel there is mention of the Black man. The Black Man is a dark man who lives in the woods who gets people to sign his book in blood. The Black Man symbolizes the Devil. The man is black to symbolize he is a dark character which the Devil is. Signing in his book in blood symbolizes that the sin will always be there because the name always stays in the book. The fallacy that the Black Man lives in the woods taking names in blood are false and the people shouldn't have believed in this. In the novel, Pearl asks Hester if the Black Man gave her that letter and she eventually replies yes. This shows that Hester admitted to Pearl that she wears the...