The narrative structure, in the opinion of the researchers, of the novel “Scarlet letter” by Hawthorne, is a harmonious complex of symbolic formations. The driven and strong character, its polysemy, and the possibility of associative links are due to the fact that various interpretations are allowed in the novel. The depth of symbolic overtones allows you to read the “Scarlet Letter” as a historical novel about the formation of a new nation, a psychological novel that explores the influence of feelings in a person’s soul, a novel about love, about a feminist.
The motif of sunlight appears in the introduction for the first time, as a setting, in the chapter “Market Square” and unfolds on the second and third parts, portraying the public condemnation of Hester Prynne, a native and illegitimate woman-feminist and a sentence of a court sentence, wearing a scarlet letter “A” all her life (the initial scarlet letter ” consultancy “-” adulteress “). The scarlet letter, which embodies the harsh and merciless spirit of Puritan legitimacy, “cut off from all people,” completes it in an “inaccessible circle of loneliness.” Sunlight illuminates like bright and shiny hair, and the eyes of the priest Wilson speak to the crowd with Greek preaching like the children of Hester’s child.
“Brotherhood in Sin” is an expression of the thesis of Puritanism – the sinfulness of all before God, the equal rights of all in sin. Open that “external guise.” It is the sinfulness of all before God, the equality of all in sin. The scarlet letter gives Hester the ability to “guess through secret affinity the secret sin in the hearts of other people”, revealing that “the external appearance of purity can lie that if you could find out the truth, the scarlet letter would glow on the chest of many, and not just Hester Prynne, a woman with her behavior that is different from all people.”
Literary analysis of the novel
Priest Dimmesdale, the father of Hester’s child, guilty of violating moral law and concealing his guilt, is not condemned, but “the burden of crime and suffering closely paired him to the whole sinful brotherhood of men.” This secret “brotherhood in sin” does not exclude loneliness and disunity not only for woman. For example, hidden wine makes Dimmesdale hide his own suffering because his isolation is deeper and more terrible than Hester’s loneliness. Sunlight, playing on the scarlet letter of Hester, symbolizes a clear sin. That is what we can see in the analytical literary analysis and topics about the novel. Condemned, but giving the right to open suffering and compassion, which Hester finds in the “big and ardent heart of the people.”
The dark figure of the pitiless and unforgiving Roger Chillingworth, husband of Hester, who devoted his life to a sophisticated revenge to a priest, inseparably linked with a feeling of mutual hatred, is underlined—a complete expression of Dimmesdale’s tragic loneliness, points and actions involved in a gloomy puritan fraud in the darkness of a man.
Chillingworth, who personifies the fanatical intolerance of Puritan moral dogmas that exclude charity, is opposed to the solar image of her daughter, Pearl, inseparable from Hester, the main character who is strong and always give some prompts. Pearl is “a direct consequence of guilt branded by people”, a constant reminder of mother’s sin and “her only treasure”, she is “a scarlet letter endowed with life” burning with the same fire as the sign on Hester’s chest, a symbol of punishment and rejection, of her behavior, actions and at the same time, “a child who was supposed to connect a mother (Hester) with all living people and their descendants.”
However, at first, this “intolerable brightness” resembles only the sparkling sign of Hester, and Pearl itself is a “consequence and embodiment of sin,” “a scarlet letter, but in a different form.” The relationship of the sun and pearl arises along with the development of another facet of the contrast image as a hook—“the child who was supposed to forever connect the mother with all living people and their descendants.” Pearl seems to be a creature akin to the rays of the sun with Hester. “I saw such figures,” Priest Wilson states: “when the sun’s rays penetrated through the colored window panes, and golden and purple spots fell on the floor.” The confluence of sunlight and the image of Pearl and Hester occur in Chapter 16 (“A Walk in the Forest”).
Priest Wilson, when he saw Pearl with Hester for the first time, calls her a “red rose,” Pearl herself answers the priest’s question about who created her, replies that her mother found her in a rose bush at the door of the prison.
Pearl is a “live scarlet rose” lit by the sun, the material embodiment of obvious, undisguised guilt, and at the same time arose emitting sunlight, an ancient symbol of love with Hester, “which always penetrates the heart with sunshine so that it involuntarily throws out a part him to the world around him, «the personification of «mercy, which fulfills the all-embracing heart of nature» and freedom from the laws of puritanism.
In conclusion, sunlight, intertwined on the symbolism of the scarlet sign and the rose, embodies the natural law of the brotherhood of people free from Puritan intolerance, based on love and compassion.