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The significance of the symbols in The scarlet letter
2003 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The strict rules and laws of Puritanism, and its impacts on people are the main issues in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850). My intention with this essay is to reveal how Hawthorne depicts the values of the Puritan society through symbols, and to show how its regulations are disclosed through the novel’s protagonists. By examining the main characters it is possible to detect a clear connection between the Puritan society and blackness. Hester, for instance, who is condemned by the Puritans is constantly surrounded by darkness. Chillingworth grows blacker and meaner the longer he stays in the community, which indicates the impact the Puritan society has on its members. White and bright colours, on the other hand, are related to goodness. Pearl, as an outsider in the Puritan community is often depicted in sunlight. In addition, the essay suggests that the scarlet letter on Hester’s chest is symbolizing Hawthorne’s own feelings. Hawthorne felt responsible for his ancestors’ deeds where people were executed among other things for witchcraft. At the same time he felt alienated in his own society since his writing never was acknowledged by his contemporaries

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. , 16 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53729Local ID: ENG C-15OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53729DiVA: diva2:1102289
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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