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The Scarlet Letter - Sin and Redemption

  • Date Submitted: 03/31/2011 08:44 PM
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Urusha Shrestha
Eng 10
Mrs. Laura Lindsay

Sin and Redemption
Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of the most renowned authors throughout time, utilized many different literacy devices to define his writing. Hawthorne’s writing styles have been critiqued but are well known throughout his short stories and novels. The various writing styles he uses include ambiguity, symbolism, color, name connotation, denotation, light imagery, and dark imagery. In the short stories and novel, The Scarlet letter, “Dr. Heidegger’s experiment”, and “David Swan,” the author’s style can be clearly perceived. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing he uses symbolism, light imagery, and color to illustrate the theme of sin and redemption.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing he uses symbolism to portray the theme of sin and redemption. In his novel The Scarlet Letter, the scarlet letter symbolizes Hester Prynne’s shame and sin. For instance it said, “The scarlet letter which she had been doomed to wear” (86). Hester Prynne had committed adultery. Instead of a death sentence, her punishment was to stand on the scaffold and let other people tease her. At first the scarlet letter symbolized her shame and guilt but eventually changes. In addition, she tries to redeem herself. The scarlet letter was hiding her beauty and emotions, when she removed it from her bosom the light finally shone on her. This was the first step to her redemption, after the identity if her lover was revealed, she continued to help people. The scarlet letter’s meaning eventually changes from “adultery” to “able.” After Dimondale’s death she began to feel remorse and she lives the rest of her life without sin and guilt.   In addition, in his short story “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment,” the rose symbolizes youth. “This rose”, “this same withered and crumbling flower, that blossomed five and fifty years ago” (504). The rose is his most prized possession since his lover gave it to him. It was 550 years old and he had treasured it in...


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