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Scarlet Letter Light and Darkness

  • Date Submitted: 01/16/2012 05:27 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 56.9 
  • Words: 1244
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Blinding Lights and Tranquil Darkness
The Scarlet Letter is about how a woman, named Hester Prynee, goes through her life with both an illegitimate child and a bright letter “A” planted on her chest. She designs the letter “A” to look as beautiful as possible placing bright decorative thread on it, despite her sins. Hawthorne uses light to reveal the blinding evils of everyone and the darkness to represent the soothing truth of people’s lives.
Throughout The Scarlet Letter, light is used to represent the evils while darkness is ironically used to represent good. The contrasts between dark and light express how despite the religious dedication of Puritans, they were still human and not the perfect beings they pretended to be. Hester in the beginning is portrayed as bright and beautiful. It went on to describe how she had decorated her “A” in a bright manner as if to present to everyone her terrible sin. She always “had dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam; and a face which, besides being beautiful from regularity of feature and richness of complexion, had the impressiveness belonging to a marked brow and deep black eyes….was that SCARLET LETTER, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom.” (46) However, despite that the scarlet letter is evil, it is described to be “illuminated”, a word associated with light. The scarlet letter is ironically described as illuminating rather than using it in comparison with darkness and despite that it’s a symbol of her sins. Then she is described as beautiful and throws off sunshine despite that she is someone who has committed a heinous crime. Again, rather than describing her with a form of darkness Hawthorne uses light to describe an evil “object”. Then, later on as she is strolling around with Pearl the child “was admirably adapted to Pearl's beauty, and made her the very brightest little jet of flame that ever danced upon the earth.”(82) Pearl is a representation of...


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