Light and Darkness in the Scarlet Letter

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In the Scarlet Letter, light and darkness is one of the main symbols present in the story. In the real world, light is a symbol for joyfulness, hope, and happiness while darkness is a symbol of despair, gloomy, and sadness. In the book, it’s the same concept light represent happiness and darkness represents secrecy and sadness. But the characters in the book show this a lot, I want to focus on certain characters like Pearl,Hester, and Dimmesdale because I believe they display this the most.

The way Pearl represents light and darkness in Scarlet Letter is how she is pictured as this loveable little girl that always tells the truth. Even her name represents her light because a pearl is a precious jewel that people value, you wouldn’t want a jewel that looks dark? Just like her mom, Hester values Pearl because she is her only child and she was made from a sin that she commited. In my opinion, I think the truth represents the light and lies represent the darkness. Pearl always reminds her mom on the evil sin she commited (Adultery), and that she knows who her true father is. She even goes far enough to say “the sun does not shine on her because of the thing on her bosom” (refers to the letter A). There’s no part in the book for me to believe she has any darkness in her because the sun always shine when she’s around even when she’s in the dark forest.

However, Hester shows darkness in the story. The way that Hester show darkness is all the sin she commits, for example, Dimmesdale and Hester were responsible for the creation of Pearl by adultery which is a sin to the Puritan culture. Hester was once pure but is now concealed by the darkness of the scarlet letter.She is portrayed as this once beautiful character that was light and joyful but now she is gloomy dark and depressed and light never reaches her. The only time it does reaches her is when she rips off the dreadful letter while in the dark forest. When she’s free of the weight of her sin, a small light burst through the trees and shines on her. Only then she is able to leave the darkness and return to the light.

In the real world, when you see darkness in the sky you tend to think that there is a storm coming. Storms are gloomy and make the day sad, however, if the sun its out you tend to picture the day as joyful. But some occasions when the storm is done with all the rai, the sun comes out and shine. If you get lucky, a rainbow would appear and it’s very beautiful. The point I’m trying to make is the sun is portrayed by Hester before she turned dark and the storm was Dimmesdale. They made the creation of a rainbow (Pearl) after everything was done. Even the darkest things could still create something beautiful.

In the Scarlet Letter, darkness is always present since Hester Prynne’s life will forever be in sorrow because of the sin she’s committed. Light has a presence as well seeing, when she ripped off her letter she was applaud by bursts of light in her life now knowing she doesn’t have to hide what she did anymore. The Symbolism of light and darkness was very obvious in each chapter. In conclusion, light showed the purity of the character and how they didn’t commit a sin, while darkness represented the sin and lies the characters committed. Eventually the truth will always come out from the dark and be brought to the light.

Cite this paper

Light and Darkness in the Scarlet Letter. (2020, Sep 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/light-and-darkness-in-the-scarlet-letter/

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