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What is symbolism Even most children have a good concept of symbolism although they are unaware of it The concept of pretending is very close to symbolism Symbolism is the representation of objects for other things or ideas Use of symbolism can greatly affect the book overall In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne symbolism plays a major part in the story The most important symbol is the letter A which Hester Prynne the main character is forced to wear having been found guilty of adultery The letter A that Prynne is forced to wear is a visual representation of sin and wrongdoing The letter functions as a reminder of Hesters affair with Arthur Dimmesdale The symbols purpose is to basically humilate Prynne However as the story goes on the meaning of the letter to other people changes The A eventually comes to stand for Able instead of adulterer At some points the letters meaning is questionable to people The Native Americans who come to watch the Election Day pageant think it marks her as a person of importance and status Also Hester presents the letter by sewing the patch of fabric on her dress so beautifully that sometimes people have a hard time grasping that it stands for something so awful in their society When Dimmesdale stands on the scaffold with Hester and Pearl in Chapter XII the symbol presents itself in a different way While standing there a meteor traces out an A in the night sky To Dimmesdale the meteor implies that he should wear a mark of shame like Hester The citizens who are unaware of the affair at this time believe that the A means angel and is related to the governors death earlier These examples show why symbolism plays such a big part in The Scarlet Letter Although it takes several different meanings the letter A is the mostly widely used symbol in the novel Without these
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