Blog Archive: hawthorne

Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter

Summary

After reading Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter first semester of AP English 3, we were required to write three essays as part of our exam. This is the second of the three essays and discusses symbolism in the novel.

Preview

Throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter, the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a few key symbols to represent major themes in the book. The most obvious and well known, as it is in the title, is the scarlet letter Hester is forced to wear. Three other symbols are the scaffold, the sun, and the forest.

To begin with, the most important and influential symbol in the entire book is the infamous scarlet letter, hence the title, The Scarlet Letter. In the second chapter, Hester walks out of the prison, wearing the infamous scarlet letter…