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Word Count: 1,288
Symbolism is traditionally a sign or token of something In the matter of literature the definition of the literary device symbolism is more complicated Symbols of literature are usually metaphysical The main symbol of The Scarlet Letter is the red A that Hester Prynne was sentenced to wear on her chest Nathaniel Hawthornes intention was to make the meaning of the crimson token worn on the bosom of Hester Prynne is highly ambiguous In this he was successful Although the A means adulteress to the people of Boston to reader the A may have other meanings such as American or able To the townspeople author and reader clearly the original intention of the A was to stand for adulteress When Hester Prynne became pregnant during the absence of her husband she was accused and convicted of adultery Her sentence was to wear a scarlet letter A on her bosom to let everyone know that she was an adulteress forevermore Because of her unique sentence everyone knew that she was in fact an adulteress and people treated her that way Society condemned her for her sin without knowing anything else Hester was forced to live alone on the outskirts of the city She was a seamstress but got very little business When she used her skills to decorate the A things only got worse People felt that she was trying to show off the fact that she was an adulteress or that she was proud to be Hesters daughter Pearl was constantly ridiculed by other children for being an evil devil child Clearly it was the first intention of the symbol to reveal that Hester Prynne was an adulteress Although the first intention of the A was to mark Hester Prynne as an adulteress it also has other more abstract meanings The letter has a relation to the word American Hester Prynnes A reflects an American meaning in various ways For one America is a
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