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Symbols of The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne takes place in Boston Massachusetts Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1642 during the time of American Puritanism This is a time where punishments were more harsh than what we have today Hester Prynne commits adultery and her punishment is to wear an A on her bosom and stand on a scaffold for three hours every day for the rest of her life along with her child Pearl She received this punishment only for the circumstances she was in others guilty of this crime were executed The Puritans were very straitlaced in their community they hoped to establish a theocracy in America only because they were unable to do this in England Hawthorne uses symbolism in this novel of the Scarlet Letter The three symbols which will be discussed are the wild rose bush which symbolizes hope life and new beginning the color red which symbolizes sin and shame and finally Governor Bellingham who symbolizes hypocrisy The wild rosebush is used to symbolize hope life and new beginning For example when the rosebush is seen outside the prison door the narrator says It may serve let us hope to symbolize some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow 46 This was stated because if it is true that the rosebush will relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow then while walking into the prison it would lift ones spirits This may also symbolize a new beginning because when people are sent to jail they have a new beginning in front of them The child finally announced that she had not been made at all but had been plucked by her mother of the bush of wildroses that grew by the prison door 103 In the second example the child Pearl says this
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