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Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne were contemporaries of each other They lived very different lives one living as a sailor for four years and the other attending an Ivy League school yet their writing reflects a similar style as shown in Melvilles Billy Bud and Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter Religious symbolism is found in abundance in each of the works In Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter life is centered around a rigid Puritanistic structured society in which one is unable to express her innermost thoughts When Hester Prynne was in prison for her crime just outside the door was a rose bush that corresponded with Hesters situation The bloom itself represented Hesters beauty and the thorns represented her pain she experienced from her circumstance as Jesus experienced pain from his crown of thorns during his persecution The rose bush was at that particular place to serve let us hope to symbolize some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow p1029 Also in the novel several characters including Hester Prynne and Roger Chillingworth repeat themselves three times to show emphasis of their determination to stay quiet as in Hesters situation and to uncover the man who slept with his wife as in Roger Chillingworths predicament In the Bibles book of Revelation 1318 the number six is repeated three times to emphasize the height of imperfection as the number seven represents perfection and six falls short Also in Revelation the word holy is repeated three times to emphasize Gods holiness Hesters product of her crime is her infant named Pearl as being of great price purchased with all she had her mothers only treasure p1051 Pearls name symbolizes how Hester gave up all she had by committing adultery and Pearl was the good that came out of the chaos Roger Chillingworth who Hester cheated on figured out that Reverend Dimmesdale
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