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A symbol is a person place thing or event that has meaning in itself and that also stands for something more Direct statements of feeling can sometimes be inadequate instead the use of striking symbols to evoke complexities of mood and meaning are much more interesting to read and analyze to truly appreciate a classic piece of literature In his novel The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne makes extensive uses of symbolism People and objects are symbolic of events and thoughts The letter A the forest the characters and the scaffold scenes all take a larger meaning which enhance the theme and the plot of the play The Scarlet Letter is a compelling story which explores the inner emotions of the human mind spirit and the heart Scharnhorst 11 Set around the 1640s in a Boston Puritan society it focuses on the moral issue revolving around the virtue of truth and the evil of secret sin Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale a man of profound knowledge of religion and a true devotee of God commits a crime of passion with the young and married Hester Prynne The Puritan society which barely tolerates any sin seeks out Hester Prynne and punishes her by making her wear the scarlet letter A Even though Arthur Dimmesdale escapes punishment from the Puritan society he endures an excruciating amount of pain that he brings forth onto himself Due to the weakness in his character and the guilt that comes from within he is forced to carry the tremendous weight of concealing his sin on his soul and heart And yet with all this suffering and scorn the inescapable sins of Hester and Dimmesdale live on with their daughter Pearl an ever-constant reminder of their wrong-doings In Hawthornes novel the letter A changes its meaning many different times This change is significant It shows growth in the characters and the community in which they live The letter A begins as a symbol of
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