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Word Count: 1,853
One might say that symbols are the most important things in a story and that they unlock the secrets of a novel Hawthorne in The Scarlet Letter uses many symbols to represent different things Some symbols represent the same thing The letter A has many meanings each character has their own meanings and even the different parts of nature are symbols Also apart from providing structure for the novel each scaffold scene conveys something different One could say arguably that nearly everything in The Scarlet Letter is a symbol of something else In the novel there are four different versions of the letter A The first is presented at the beginning of the book where Hester is forced to wear a scarlet letter A upon her breast The second occurrence is during the second scaffold scene when the pastor Arthur Dimmesdale is on the scaffold with Hester and Pearl and a meteor causes a letter A to appear in the sky The third version of the letter A appears when Pearl makes the letter A out of seaweed and puts it on her own breast The fourth and final letter A is shown at the end of the book on Dimmesdales breast when he confesses The letter A in all its forms represents many things in the novel At the beginning the letter is supposed to represent Hesters guilt or shame for committing adultery though Hester wears it proudly Later on in the book however it represents something completely different That same letter A on her breast represents her able or angelic nature instead of her sin in the past The second letter A seen in the sky represents not only Dimmesdales cowardice and shame but the fact that the townspeople make up meanings for occurrences to mean what the townspeople want them to mean According to Nina Baym Dimmesdale knows that if his deed is discovered he will be thrown out of what is
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