Mrs. Laura Lindsay
Sin and Redemption
Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of the most renowned authors throughout time, utilized many different literacy devices to define his writing. Hawthorne’s writing styles have been critiqued but are well known throughout his short stories and novels. The various writing styles he uses include ambiguity, symbolism, color, name connotation, denotation, light imagery, and dark imagery. In the short stories and novel, The Scarlet letter, “Dr. Heidegger’s experiment”, and “David Swan,” the author’s style can be clearly perceived. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing he uses symbolism, light imagery, and color to illustrate the theme of sin and redemption.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing he uses symbolism to portray the theme of sin and redemption. In his novel The Scarlet Letter, the scarlet letter symbolizes Hester Prynne’s shame and sin. For instance it said, “The scarlet letter which she had been doomed to wear” (86).
Hester Prynne had committed adultery. Instead of a death sentence, her punishment was to stand on the scaffold and let other people tease her. At first the scarlet letter symbolized her shame and guilt but eventually changes. In addition, she tries to redeem herself. The scarlet letter was hiding her beauty and emotions, when she removed it from her bosom the light finally shone on her. This was the first step to her redemption, after the identity if her lover was revealed, she continued to help people. The scarlet letter’s meaning eventually changes from “adultery” to “able.” After Dimondale’s death she began to feel remorse and she lives the rest of her life without sin and guilt. In addition, in his short story “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment,” the rose symbolizes youth. “This rose”, “this same withered and crumbling flower, that blossomed five and fifty years ago” (504).
In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne uses her personal code of ethics to make decisions that influence her situation. Although she carefully makes these decisions she ultimately faces conflicts that complicate her state. Her code of ethics, which consist of responsibility and staying true to her word, are very prominent throughout the novel and impact the way she ...
The rose is his most prized possession since his lover gave it to him. It was 550 years old and he had treasured it in his book all these years. He had asked his guest if they could ever believe that the rose could blossom again. He had committed a great sin by concocting a vial form the Fountain of Youth. After his guests witnessed the rose blossoming, they agreed to take part in his experiment. Mr. Medbourne, Colonel Kiligrew, Mr. Gascoigne, and Widow Wycherley have all sinned throughout their lives, and they vowed never to repeat their mistakes of their youth and be the perfect individuals they imagined. However, when they turn young again, they commit their sins and go back to their foolish ways. At first they believed that drinking this water would help to redeem themselves, but they eventually learn that perfection cannot last. It was a sin to believe that perfection could be achieved and trying to achieve it could be futile as the reader’s have witnessed. In the end, when the rose started to fade, so this the youth of the guest as they returned to their normal selves. Also, in his short story “David Swan,” the bee symbolized upcoming danger. “ A monster of a bee had been overhead-buzz- now among the leaves, now flashing through the strips— to be settling on the eyelid of David Swan” (3).
David Swan was awaiting a cab and decided to take a nap. He chooses a place “sheltered by trees and with a gurgling stream.” He feels that this area is safe and feels secure. The setting is important because it shows that David is completely as ease even though he being faced with wealth, love, and death because he’s completely unaware of the events that are occurring around him. The bee had foreshadowed upcoming danger to Swan. The 2 burglars committed a sin by trying to rob David’s bundle. However, a dog stopped and prevented them from succeeding. Little did they know that their faith was sealed against their soul for trying to commit murder. Even after his encounter he still remains fast asleep. David is committing a sin by sleeping and not being aware of his surroundings. Many things can happen while you least expect them. David Swan was not expecting anything extraordinary to happen but in fact it did. Since he was not aware of his sin, he had no way to redeem himself. Instead when he woke up he acted as if nothing had happened to him at all. His way of acting to nonchalant after he woke up and headed for the cab was his way of redeeming himself. In the end David was completely oblivious about the unexpected opportunities and events that could have changed his life. Since he was not aware of these events and could not act accordingly, he, himself is at fault. In all 3 of Hawthorne’s writings he uses symbolism to help portray the theme of sin and redemption.
“Simplify! was Thoreau’s motto” in his life (Stanley 20). He showed people how to live simple life by living a simple life in Walden. Due to Thoreau’s efforts and works on nature people considers a nature an important part in their lives, as a result nature became one of the top topics in 21st century. Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts ...
Furthermore, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writings he uses light imagery to illustrate the theme of sin and redemption. In his novel The Scarlet Letter, light imagery is exemplified in the forest. “ The light lingered about the lonely child, as if glad of such playmate, until her mother had drawn almost high enough to step into the magic circle too—as she attempted to do so, the sunshine vanished” (192) As a punishment to herself, Hester decides to hide away all her beauty and mask her emotions. She always tries to remain in the darkness since she feels she cannot be forgiven. When Pearl and Hester walk in the forest, Hester is always masked in the darkness because she believes she has not made full penance for her sins and because Dimmesdale has not confessed to his part in Hester’s predicament. This relates to the theme of sin and redemption because the reason the light does not shine on her is because she has lost and innocence and the only way to redeem herself is if she takes off the letter and if Dimmesdale confesses too. The scarlet letter burdens her heart, so when she removes it from her bosom she feels free. Her youth and smile returns to her face and she feels the slightest bit of happiness that had been long hidden. “All at once, as with sudden smile of heave, forth burst the sunshine, pouring a very flood into the obscure forest, gladdening each green leaf, transmuting the yellow fallen ones to gold, and gleaming down the gray trunks of the solemn trees” (212).
Nathaniel Hawthorne's character Hester Pyrnne in "The Scarlet Letter"In the novel The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne undergoes both physical and emotional revelations. Hester is directly affected by the consequences of breaking moral and social codes of behavior. The novel is a story of a young woman who commits adultery, and stays strong when the community harasses ...
As of this moment, she feels she has redeemed herself since the sunshine if finally able to shine upon her. The minister is able to witness this and questions Pearl. However, since Pearl did not recognize her mother without the scarlet letter, she is forced to wear the scarlet letter upon her bosom again. Furthermore, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Dr. Heidegger’s experiment,” light imagery is portrayed through the rose. For instance it said, “It resembled the tremulous glitter of diamonds” (504).
He was able to make the rose blossom again, as his guest were immediately stunned. The rose had been given to him by his true love that had passed away, ever since then he has preserved it in his books. Having blossomed the rose, was his sin because that meant he could reblossom his guests youth. This proved to be traumatic since they vowed to be perfect and not to repeat their mistakes, but eventually failed to do so. Human nature in way tends to reach perfection, but in the end it can never be attained; only consequences can follow for such a case. His guest had managed to drop all the Water of Youth upon the ground. Nevertheless, he gains his redemption by learning that attainting human perfection is impossible. However, his guest did not learn anything because by the next day they were off to Florida in search for the Fountain of Youth. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “David Swan” the sun was used for light imagery. “Perceiving that a stray sunbeam glimmered down upon his face, the lady continued to twist a branch aside, so as to intercept it. Since David Swan was fast asleep he had no recollection as to what had happened. He had no idea that he could have gained wealth, met his true love, or even met with death.
This of course was his greatest sin for not being aware of anything that occurred. He still has a lot of innocence within him, as the sunbeams continue to shine upon his face as he lays down to rest. As more events occurred, he could’ve have gained good fortune. He could’ve been an heir to a merchant and could’ve become a clerk, to all of which he knew nothing about. To redeem him from missing all of this good fortune, some bad luck is cast upon him. He could’ve been murdered, which he knew nothing about. However, good fortune is always cast upon him since he was saved from that horrible incident. He redeems himself, as he awakes and snaps back to reality, anything can happen and we could not be aware of the events occurring around us especially if we’re not paying attention. David Swans goes about and finds a cab to depart in. Hawthorne use light imagery to help depict the theme of sin and redemption in all of his writings.
Color Blindness Many people refer to problems with one's ability to see color as color blindness, however, unless a person can't see any color at all, color vision problems should be called by another term. Common terms are abnormal color vision, color deficiency and color vision confusion. Females maybe be effected by color blindness, but usually they are just carriers. Males are more often ...
Nevertheless, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses color to help illustrate the theme of sin and redemption. In his novel The Scarlet Letter, the SCARLET of the rose represents Hester’s shame and guilt. “Were now impressed as they saw that SCARLET LETTER so fantastically embodied and illuminating upon her bosom” (56).
Hawthorne uses many colors in the story such as red, white, and black. The most frequently employed color symbol by Hawthorne is red. Red most obviously represents Hester’s sin, as shown by her scarlet “A” she is forced to wear. Her scarlet letter, like her sin, is something she must always deal with and is something she can never escape. Pearl, the product of Hester’s sin, is usually dressed in red clothing, representing the sin. Pearl is also called the names “Ruby,” “Coral,” or “red Rose,” and “a little bird of scarlet plumage,” further extending Pearl as a red representation of Hester’s sin. Red is employed by Hawthorne to show passion and sensuality. The sin is also represented by the letter “A” being formed in the sky by meteors, and an “A” appearing on Reverend Dimmesdale’s chest. The first encounter with red is the description of a wild red rosebush growing outside the prison where Hester was imprisoned. This is representing Hester’s pride and passion, growing in a place not fitting; similar to how Hester’s passion did not fit in with the Puritan society. As the sunlight shines through a red and yellow window in the governor’s house, a red light shines throughout the room.
The first author is William Wordsworth with the poem "Lines Written in Early Spring"; he has a way of bringing out nature's great offerings. The following author will be Robert Burns with his poem "A Red, Red Rose." I heard a thousand blended notes, While in a grove I sat reclined, In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts Bring sad thoughts to the mind (1-4) Wordsworth is describing how he is ...
This is symbolizing Hester’s passion spreading throughout the Puritan society. Color is used to show redemption because in the end some people say they witnessed a SCARLET LETTER, the very same as Hester’s imprinted on the chest of the minister. He had finally confessed and Hester was able to redeem herself. The minister was being slowly eaten away by his guilt, alas he told Hester to pray for him hoping that God would forgive him for the sins he committed, since this was the only way he could redeem himself. In addition, in Hawthorne’s short story “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment,” color is represented through his red rose. “ The crushed dry petals stirred, and assumed a deepening hinge of crimson , as if a flower were receiving form deathlike slumber, the slender stalk and the twigs of foliage became green” (512).
The reader learns that the rose was given to him, to wear to his wedding from his fiancée, Silvia. Now that she’s dead, of course, the rose has great sentimental value to him. “I love it as well thus,” the doctor says to the withered rose “as in its dewy freshness.” The rose not only symbolizes his love for Silvia but also the youth of the guest. Dr. Heidegger first uses it to demonstrate the rejuvenating power of the elixir; and later it withers right before the same thing happens to the old guests. His sin was concocting this elixir and giving it to the guest because they could not be trusted with such power. Event though they vowed to be perfect, Heidegger learns that perfection can not be attained. He redeems himself by learning this lesson; however his guests fail to recognize this as they head out to Florida in hopes to find the fountain again. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story David Swan, color is represented through the woman’s rosy cheeks. “Blushing as red as any rose that she should have intruded into a gentleman’s bed chamber, and for such purpose too, she was about to make her escape on her tiptoe” (3).
Since David Swan was fast asleep he lost the opportunity to attain wealth, meet his true love, and meet death. The young woman blushes at the sigh of David Swan, however she does not leave but instead protects him from the dangers of a bee. Color is used to portray theme because his greatest sin is his ignorance to his surrounding since he is fast asleep. To redeem himself, he must wake up and be more alert to his surroundings. Hawthorne uses color, as a writing technique to depict the theme of sin and redemption in all three of his writings.
For the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne the most explored theme of all his writings is the imperfect spirituality of man and the pervasiveness of sin throughout creation. Both of the stories under analysis here, Young Goodman Brown and The Minister’s Black Veil, feature a young reverend as the central character of the work and a Puritanical community in New England as the setting. Both of the ...
In conclusion, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing he uses symbolism, light imagery, and color to illustrate the theme of sin and redemption. In The Scarlet Letter, symbolism is portrayed by the scarlet letter since it symbolizes Hester’s shame and guilt. Light imagery is used to symbolize the sun, and how it does not shine on Hester since she has lost her innocence. Color is used to indicate the color of the scarlet letter. The color red represents Hester’s sin, passion, and sensuality. It also represents Pearl who IS considered the scarlet letter. Hester’s sin was committing adultery and the only way for her to gain redemption is if Dimmesdale confessed to his part of her sin. Furthermore, in “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment,” symbolism is represented by the rose since it symbolizes his love for his fiancé and the youth in his guests. As the rose rejuvenated, so did his guest. However as the rose withered away and returned to its normal old self, so did his guests. Light imagery is used to describe the rose as it becomes young again. Color is used to describe the rose since it becomes young and old again. Dr. Heidegger’s sin was giving his guest water from the Fountain of Youth, and the only was he could redeem himself was by learning a valuable lesson: that human perfection cannot be attained.
However, in “David Swan,” the bee symbolized upcoming danger. The story states that “The sting of a bee is sometimes deadly.” The girl saves him from the bee but no one can save him from death. He merely survives his death experience but he is not even aware of what happened. Light imagery is used to describe the sun beams as they shine upon David Swan’s face. Color is used to describe the woman’s rosy cheeks as she first witness David Swan sleeping. David Swan’s sin was that sleeping proved to be ignorant since he was unaware of the events occurring around him. The only way he could redeem himself was by waking up and being alert. In all three writing, Hawthorne uses the same writing styles to depict the themes of sin and redemption. Nevertheless, in our society today, sins are committed each and every day. The people who commit these sin always ask for forgiveness, whether from a priest or in the form of a prayer. Do the people who commit these sin and gain redemption learn a lesson? If they do, then why do they constantly commit these sins over again? Is it because of human nature and the fact that we are not perfect, nor do we strive to be? In each of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing the character either learns a lesson or was just completely unaware of the events occurring. Each character in the story sought for redemption right after they committed a sin. Nathaniel Hawthorne used symbolism, light imagery, and color to depict the theme of sin and redemption. These were just only some of the writing techniques he used to portray the overall theme. As we have learned, Nathaniel Hawthorne truly was one of the greatest writers throughout time.