Metaphors Throughout The Scarlet Letter Essay

This essay has a total of 693 words and 3 pages.

Metaphors Throughout The Scarlet Letter

Hawthorne manages to create many metaphors within his novel The Scarlet Letter. The rose
bush outside the prison door, the black man, and the scaffold are three metaphors. Perhaps
the most important metaphor would be the scaffold, which plays a great role throughout the
entire story. The three scaffold scenes which Hawthorne incorporated into The Scarlet
Letter contain a great deal of significance and importance the plot. Each scene brings a
different aspect of the main characters, the crowd or more minor characters, and what
truth or punishment is being brought forth.

The first scaffold scene takes place at the very beginning of the story. In this
particular scene, Hester has moments before walked from the prison door carrying her baby
and donning the scarlet letter, which stands for adultery. She must make this procession
in front of the entire town. After the march, Hester is forced to stand alone on the
scaffold until an hour past noon.

It seems as if Hawthorne wrote this scene for the purposes of exhibiting the harshness of
Puritan society, and to allow the reader some insight into Hester's thoughts. Hawthorne
places the focus onto Hester at this moment. The reader observes her before the full
effect of the scarlet letter has had a chance to take hold of her. The reader is also able
to see the cruel and judgmental behavior of the crowd through their language, such as when
they call her a hussy. "This women has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die. Is
there not law for it?"
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