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Describes The Use Of Imagry In The First 8 Chapters Of "The Scarlet Letter" By Hawthorne

482 words - 2 pages

Throughout these first eight chapters of "The Scarlet Letter," Hawthorne fills his pages with an abundance of imagery. He uses this effective imagery to show rather then tell the story of Hester. This repetitive imagery helps the author to describe symbols and ideas without blatantly telling them to the reader.The color red and the letter 'A' are the most prominent images throughout this section of the book. Hawthorne goes as far as describing Pearl while wearing her crimson velvet tunic as "...the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed with life!" (93). Even other townspeople note the likeness of Pearl and the ...view middle of the document...

Hawthorne uses this imagery so frequently as to remind the reader of the scarlet letter and the way in which Hester will forever live with the scarlet letter forever fallowing and hiding her.Another form of imagery that is evident in this section of the book is that of lightness and darkness. Hawthorne uses light and shadows to depict the portrayal of several characters. Lightness and sunshine always surround the character Pearl, and other characters that are shown as good and pure, whereas shadows and darkness always surround sinful Hester. Shadows surround Hester to the point that lives at the edge of town where the darkness by the forest shadows her small cottage. Another character who is portrayed to be hiding behind shadows is the Reverend Dimmesdale, Hester's partner in crime. After speaking on behalf of Hester he steps back to where "...his face is partially concealed in the heavy folds of the window curtains..." (105). This darkness hides the deceitful sinning character, keeping them from the good sunlight.Through these, and along with several other, repeated imagery, Hawthorne achieves symbols, ideas, and characterization that do not need to be announced directly to the reader. This style of writing could be used to enhance my own style by helping me to be less blatant about ideas and symbols, and also to help achieve the use of more symbolism and detail in my writing.

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