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Word Count: 593
Nathaniel Hawthornes most renowned masterpiece The Scarlet Letter is considered to be one of the most influential pieces of American Romanticism Taking this into consideration I highly recommend The Scarlet Letter to anyone who deems themselves American in nature Some important features in this book are Hawthornes use of symbolism throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter is also significant because it reflects the Puritan life and the restraints that society burdens the people with Hawthornes utilization of symbolism in the novel makes the novel much more coherent almost making parts of the novel tangible in nature The main symbol that Hawthorne deploys throughout the novel is the letter A The letter symbolizes a multitude of things The most obvious symbol is that it openly symbolizes adultery This is what it symbolizes to most of the townspeople To Hester and Dimmesdale the A represents agony This is for the extreme pain they must suffer for the sin that they share together Later in the novel the A begins to symbolize able to the townspeople They no longer see her as an adulterer but now as someone who helps the downtrodden throughout the community Another symbol in the novel is the prison in the first chapter The prison symbolizes the alienation that Hester must face the unconfessed guilt of Dimmesdale and the vengeance which imprisons Chillingworth One last symbol that Hawthorne uses throughout the novel is Dimmesdale holding his hand upon his heart This symbolizes his attempt to conceal his sin that he shares with Hester His sin is so hard to confess because of the harsh penalties the Puritan community imposes upon society Another reason why this book is a classic is its reflection of the early American lifestyle During the early 1700s life in New England was much different then life is today Mostly Puritans populated the Massachusetts Bay colony during this time The Puritans believe in spiritual rigidity and not pardoning sins People
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