The titular symbol of this novel (the Scarlet Letter) has such conspicuous presence that it is almost a character.  But if it is a symbol, what does it symbolize? 

Asked on by benz39

2 Answers | Add Yours

StephanieRR's profile pic

StephanieRR | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

The scarlet letter A is a symbol of public shame. Hester is made to wear it so that everyone who sees her might know the nature of her sin and shun her. The fact that she has publicly confessed and received punishment means that Hester is able to move on with her life and proceed to try to make up for what she has done. Meanwhile, Dimmsdale, who has not confessed and therefore has no scarlet letter to show the world, is stuck with the agony of his guilt and is unable to enter the stages of redemption.

nishasj's profile pic

nishasj | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted on

The Scarlet Letter 'A' symbolises not just one or two aspects but many. First as regards character it symbolises fiery Nature of Pearl, then it refers to different meanings regarding Hester's Character, on the initial state it stands for Adultrous, then later on it refers to her Angelsome character when she overcomes all her troubles.

We’ve answered 319,849 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question