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Word Count: 325
The first chapter of The Scarlet Letter introduces us to the prison door We are immediately introduced to the prison door to prove that evil and death are unavoidable It is very appropriate that Hawthorne opens the novel with the prison door The portrayal of the bleak and ominous prison sets the ambiance for the rest of the novel and also foreshadows the circumstances between Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale The prison is depicted as aged rusted and weather beaten However it is durable with an iron-clamped oaken door It is referred to as an ugly edifice and black flower of civilized society Weeds have wildly sprouted in front of the gloomy door The author writes The door of the jail being flung openlike a black shadow emerging into the sunshine the grim and grisly presence of the town beadle Hawthorne uses descriptive language which allows the reader to envision a cold and dreary setting The author draws the reader in and we are engrossed to find out who is behind this door However despite the overall dark and gloomy description of the prison door Hawthorne describes a single rosebush in the middle of the murky setting This rose bush signifies that amidst this dismal scene there will be some brightness This rose bush is evidently a symbol of Hester Prynne Hester Prynnes sin is one of passion which is also represented by the rose since it is scarlet the color of passion Hester Prynne is a rose among the weeds The rose also represents Mary the pure virgin which can be compared to Hester Prynne In short though chapter one is brief and lacks action its holds great importance Not only do we gain a sense of foreboding but the atmosphere for the rest of the novel is set The author uses explicatory wording which allows the reader to visualize the cold and gloomy prison door
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