The town elders at one point discuss letting her take off the letter but she feels differently thinking it is just punishment for her transgression. But many of Hawthorne's symbols change — particularly his characters — depending on their treatment by the community and their reactions to their sins. At worst, Dimmesdale is a symbol of hypocrisy and self-centered intellectualism; he knows what is right but has not the courage to make himself do the public act. It again appears in the 23rd chapter where it is a symbol of freedom from long-lasting guilt and secret, as Dimmesdale confesses everything before dying. Only Hester can face the future bravely, as she prepares to begin a new life with her daughter, , in Europe. Dimmesdale feels it symbolizes that he should wear the 'A' on his chest. She is the physical consequence of sexual sin and the indicator of a transgression.
She even takes it off when she asks Dimmesdale to run off with her to Europe. This is contrary to Chillingsworth who is evil and will always be in the darkness. The town may not see them, but God does, and God knows Dimmesdale has yet to confess his sin. As for Dimmesdale, it is a symbol of confession and owning up to his sins, and for facing his guilt. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne there are four main symbols that the reader would notice.
While symbols can be created, such created symbols are subjective and must be given meaning within their context and because the context is different among individuals and societies and can vary over time. She regains her sexuality, and not only does she become the person she was seven years ago, but symbolically, she removes the strict moral code of the Puritan society. It is a place where one goes morally astray. All along, Hester felt there was this redeemable nature in her daughter, and here she sees her faith rewarded. He begins to torture the minister mentally to find out the truth. The Scarlet Letter is considered a classic book and is still read today.
By analyzing a symbolic name, the readers can grasp a better understanding of the overall meaning of the story. She is Hester and Arthur's daughter. Hester Prynne, who had an affair with the local Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, commits the sin. The differing interpretations reflect the belief that personal experience filters symbolic meaning for each individual. Generally speaking, a symbol is something used to stand for something else. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. When Hester tosses her sin aside in the forest scene, she is not successful in leaving her sin forever.
The symbolism Hawthorne uses adds another level of complexity to the novel. On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold-thread, appeared the letter A. Pearl really symbolized a rose to her mother, but at other times she could be wilting. In general, students have grown accustomed to superficial analyses of books, which encompasses reading and regurgitating 'literary facts' on multiple choice tests. Another symbol employed in the novel is the brook flowing with a sad murmuring sound. One instance of the same is when she is reluctant to cross the brook and enter the town, where the Puritan society lives, in which she is not welcome. Every item has a story in it.
When he finds Hester in her distressed condition of the scaffold, he rejects her. Ultimately I think the scarlet 'A' ends up showing strength and character on the part of Hester. While Dimmesdale has intellect but lacks will, Chillingworth has both. At various times, it symbolizes adultery, sin, hard work, skill, charity, righteousness, sacredness, and, of course, grace. These three not only stood out the most, but were consistently mentioned over the course of the novel. Often these obstacles appear when she is in the forest, making it a very critical locality in the book. All of these factors demand that Hester take back the symbol of her guilt.
One of the more obvious instances of symbolism in the book is when the 'A' is imprinted in the sky by a falling meteor. As far as its use in the novel is concerned, the forest is a terrifying place, an abode of Satan, as is considered during the Puritanism, and Hester is left in the forest. She is natural law unleashed, the freedom of the unrestrained wilderness, the result of repressed passion. He does not reveal to anyone that he is indeed Hester's lover and Pearl's father, and lets Hester take the blame for everything. When she goes to visit the Governor, she stands in front of a mirror and sees the letter become magnified and take up almost the entire reflection. The townspeople believe it means angel in honor of Governor Winthrop who had died. Where else, the rest of the novel surrounds itself in an aura of gloominess, this one scene in the novel permits Hester and Dimmesdale to be filled with love and joy.
Dimmesdale believes the meteor means that he should also wear the scarlet 'A'. Its initial form as a red cloth letter standing for the sin of adultery, that A is little more symbolic than a man's initials, but Hawthorne makes much more of it before the book ends. Finally, it defines her identity, for the letter makes Hester the woman that she is; it gives her roots, character, and a uniqueness to her being that sets her apart from the other Puritans. She cannot see her mother without the scarlet letter. Instead, certain items, colors, and references gather associations.
Although Hawthorne has the reader sympathize with Hester, the individual who rebels against society, she lives a solitary life on the edge of a forest. The most important symbol in the book is introduced in the first chapter. Consider Hester's good deeds to the poor nursing and sewing : the very ones she helps generally throw bitter words in her face. Hester regards it as a constant reminder of her sin. However, the forest also stands for natural innocence. The idea that atonement peace can come through doing good deeds is in question.
A rather difficult child, she likes to be free and even refuses to listen to her mother at times. Hester feels her unacceptability to others as a result of her sin; she deliberately becomes less beautiful. In general, symbols aren't like icons on a map: you can't decode a text by saying that one thing—say, a prison door—always symbolizes another thing. But despite the scandal of her birth, Pearl brings Hester great joy. Hawthorne utilizes these precious symbols throughout the novel for various reasons. Noon is the time of Dimmesdale's confession, and daylight is the symbol of exposure. Pearl recognizes the fact that Hester can not toss her sin aside so lightly, and makes Hester recognize that fact also.