What is Hawthorne's purpose of introducing the strong imagery regarding the prison door?

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amymc | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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The prison door stands as a focus of the town's hypocrisy and behind it one of its newest scapegoats.  The door is old, weathered and rusted which adds to the dark and gloomy tone established in the first chapter.  Similarly, a collection of weeds, withered and thorny, encompass the door, giving it an unappealing and unkempt appearance, as if whomever was behind the door was not worth an ounce of care.

In contrast to these dark, dead images stands the rose bush with its singular bloom.  This element of beauty seems to give the prisoner, and perhaps even society, an element of hope despite its gray and foreboding surrounding.