The Scarlet Letter Questions and Answers
by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In the Scarlet Letter compare and contrast the symbolism of the "black flower" of chapter 1 with the rose bush growing outside the prison door.

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In chapter 1 of The Scarlet Letter, the black flower which is mentioned is allegorical to the prison itself. The narrator speaks of the early days of the settlement which, out of the dirt of their soil, built their village. The term "black flower" is used as a metaphor that suggests that the dirt of the soil could only be capable to produce something as dingy and ugly as a prison; a black flower.

..such unsightly vegetation, which evidently found something congenial in the soil that had so early borne the black flower of civilised society, a prison.

Contrastingly, at the foot of the prison...

(The entire section contains 303 words.)

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