What are examples of imagery in The Scarlet Letter?

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Lenny Wiza eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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All of the physical descriptions of the scarlet letter involving Hester, and sometimes Pearl, that pepper the novel are good examples of imagery.

In chapter II, the first description of the letter Hester embroiders appears as Hester leaves the prison and climbs the scaffold of the pillory for her hours of public humiliation.  It is described as "fine red cloth" with "elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread" in the shape of the letter A. Readers understand right away that its maker, Hester Prynne, is an artist, and for her, the scarlet letter is not necessarily an emblem of only shame.

In chapter VI, Pearl, who has by this point exhibited a fascination with her mother's letter, picks a handful of wildflowers and throws them at Hester's bosom "dancing up and down, like a little elf, whenever she hit the scarlet letter."  

In chapter XV, entitled "Hester and Pearl," Pearl replicates the letter in green.  The child takes eel grass and imitates the shape of Hester's A on...

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