Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. Hawthorne was known for his dark and mysterious stories. The Scarlet Letter is one of Hawthorne’s most famous novels and it was published in 1850. The novel is set in Puritan New England in the seventeenth century.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a novel about light and darkness, which are two major themes in the book. The scarlet letter itself is a symbol of both light and darkness, as it is both a physical object that emits light and a reminder of the protagonist’s sin.
The characters in the novel also embody these themes of light and darkness. The protagonist, Hester Prynne, is initially seen as a symbol of sin and shame, but she eventually comes to represent strength and resilience. The antagonist, Roger Chillingworth, is consumed by hatred and revenge, which ultimately leads to his downfall.
These themes of light and darkness are also evident in the settings of the novel. The town of Boston, where the majority of the story takes place, is described as being dreary and oppressive. The forest, on the other hand, is seen as a place of freedom and liberation.
The theme of light and darkness is ultimately about the duality of human nature. We all have the capacity for both good and evil, but it is up to us to choose which side we will stand on.
The Puritans, according to Nathaniel Hawthorne, were individuals who thought that the world was a battlefield where good and evil fought an endless war. In this struggle, Hawthorne uses light and dark symbols to represent the conflict among the characters Hester Prynne, Pearl, and Roger Chillingworth. Hester’s beauty rapidly vanishes into darkness once she has committed her crime. Her hair no longer hangs freely about her face; instead it is confined in a bonnet. Hester isn’t seen as a bad person because of her transgression; rather, it makes her “light” flee away.
Pearl is Hawthorne’s symbol of hope and purity. She is constantly surrounded by light, whether it be the natural light that shines through the windows in the prison or the metaphorical light that Pearl brings to Hester’s life. Even when Roger Chillingworth comes into the picture, trying to steal Pearl away from Hester, Pearl still remains a beacon of light.
The only time that darkness truly surrounds Pearl is when she learns about her father’s true identity. Roger Chillingworth is Hawthorne’s symbol of evil. He hides his true identity from everyone, including himself, for years, until he finally admits his sin publicly.
The darkness inside him gradually takes over and begins to consume him. As the novel comes to a close, Roger Chillingworth is nothing more than a shadow of his former self. Hawthorne uses the light and dark imagery throughout The Scarlet Letter to represent the battle between good and evil that is constantly happening in the world.
The characters in the novel are all affected by this battle in one way or another, whether they are aware of it or not. The light represents hope and purity, while the darkness represents sin and evil. Hawthorne’s use of these symbols helps to illustrate the theme of the novel: that no one is immune to the battle between good and evil.
The sun is a metaphor for the good or pure nature of character. Hester’s purity has been lost as a result of her sin and the scarlet letter, therefore she is not seen in the sun. Hawthorne says, “It was only when the house was darkened that she could be contained.” When sunshine returned, Pearl, Hester’s daughter, stated, “… because it fears something on your bosom, sunlight flees and hides itself.” This implies that the scarlet letter itself might be to blame for Hester’s darkness.
The darkness could also be seen as a metaphor for the sin Hester has committed. The Puritans believed that sin was a dark and evil thing. The scarlet letter is a constant reminder of her sin, therefore it keeps her in darkness.
The Puritans believed that the forest was where the devil resided. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne writes, “the whole moral world was turned topsy-turvy. The good people were morally sicklied o’er with the sense of sin… The very sunlight seemed infected… For sunshine should have brought out all the glory of those grand old woods, and made them a fit dwelling-place for the high-minded and pure.
But, in consequence of this darkening of the general mind, the objects which lay around them, in Nature’s gay attire, were but the more ghastly and repulsive. ” The forest is seen as a place of darkness because it is where Hester commits her sin, and it is also where Dimmesdale hides his sin. The darkness in The Scarlet Letter is symbolic of the evil that resides in the characters’ hearts.
The sun is attracted to the pearl, just as the sun is drawn to her. When Pearl visits the governor’s house, she notices how brightly the sunshine shines through the windows. She asks for “the sunlight on its front” to be taken away and given to her to play with. ” Hester replies, “No my tiny Pearl. You must gather your own sunshine.” I have none to offer you! ,” says Hester when confronted with this problem by Pearl in Chapter 7 of The House of Mirth.’
Hester tries to avoid the question, but Pearl persistently asks until she finally gets an answer. The “truth” that Pearl hears from Hester is a story about how Dimmesdale was bitten by a snake while he was preaching and how the venom caused his tongue to swell so much that he couldn’t speak anymore. The story that Hester tells is not true, but it satisfies Pearl for the moment.
Pearl is also recognized for her darkness. When she is first introduced in the novel, she is wearing a red cloak. The color red typically symbolizes passion, anger, or sin. The fact that Pearl is wearing this cloak suggests that she already knows about her mother’s sin and is accepting of it. When Hester is being punished, Pearl stands on the scaffold and tries to touch her mother’s heart with a twig. The Hawthorne’s use light and darkness to symbolize good and evil. The light represents Pearl’s innocence, while the darkness represents Hester’s sin.
The story follows the life of Hester Prynne, who commits adultery, and her daughter Pearl. The novel addresses the theme of sin and its effects on the individual. Hawthorne was interested in the relationship between the individual and society. The Scarlet Letter is a perfect example of Hawthorne’s interest in this topic.
The novel explores the effects that Hester’s sin has on herself, her daughter, and the community. The novel is also a critique of Puritan society. Hawthorne was not happy with the way that Puritan society restricted individual freedom. The Scarlet Letter is a symbol for Hawthorne’s critique of Puritan society. The novel has been banned and censored throughout history because it challenges traditional values.