An Analysis of the Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter毕业论文_英语毕业论文

An Analysis of the Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter毕业论文


摘 要

《红字》是纳桑尼尔·霍桑的一篇长篇小说,讲述了发生在早期清教徒移民中的恋爱悲剧。女主人公海斯特因追求爱情而犯下了清教徒所不容的通奸罪被迫戴上了红字,牧师丁梅斯代尔羞于承认自己的罪行,身心备受煎熬,医生奇灵渥斯潜伏在丁梅斯代尔身边窥视并折磨他。最终,丁梅斯代尔承认了自己的罪行, 但他也心力交瘁,死在了海斯特的怀中。小说中惯用象征主义手法,对于小说的线索红字A,人物,以及场景进行了十分深刻而有意义的描绘,向读者展示了当时环境下的社会形态,同时也揭示并深化了小说的主题。此外,本文将结合电影的角色原型分析理论对纳撒尼尔·霍桑在《红字》中所应用的象征主义进行分析, 从而进一步探讨其美学意义和艺术价值。



The Scarlet Letter is a novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It talks about the love tragedy that occurred in the early Puritans. The heroine Hester was forced to wear the scarlet letter for committing adultery under the imperialism of the Puritans because of her pursuit of love. The pastor Dimmesdale was ashamed to admit his crimes, suffering from physical and mental tortures, and the doctor Chillingworth lurked beside Dimmesdale, peeping and torturing him. In the end, Dimmesdale admitted his crimes, struggled in agony and died in Hester’s arms. In the novel, the symbolism technique is commonly used. The novel’s clue, the scarlet letter A, characters, and scenes are deeply and meaningfully depicted. They show the readers the social form of the environment at the time, and also reveal and deepen the theme of the novel. In addition, this paper will analyze symbolism in combination with the theory of Character Archetypes in the film so as to further explore its aesthetic significance and artistic value.

Key Words: Symbolism, The Scarlet Letter, Character Archetypes, Aesthetic Value


  1. Introduction 1
  2. Demonstration 3
    1. Symbolic Images 3
      1. The Color Red 3
      2. The Scarlet Letter A 4
    2. Character Archetypes and Symbolism 5
      1. Character Archetypes 6
      2. Symbolism in Characters 7
    3. Aesthetic Significance of Symbolism 9
      1. Imagery Beauty of Symbolism 9
      2. Artistic Beauty of Symbolism 11
  3. Conclusion 11

Works Cited 13

Bibliography 14

An Analysis of the Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter


Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was the great American romantic novelist of the nineteenth century. As a great romantic novelist, Hawthorne’s use of symbolism is unique. Most of his novels are based on the history or real life of New England, and concerned about human nature and human destiny. In 1848, he devoted himself to writing, and wrote his most important novel, The Scarlet Letter. Set in New England during the colonial period, this work tells a story that a young woman bound by an unreasonable marriage was punished in public because of committing adultery forbidden by Calvinism. It also exposes some darkness in the colonial society under the rule of the political and religious system at that time. Researchers home and abroad have paid great attention to Hawthorne’s novels. In 1989, Donald J. Greiner published “Body and Soul: John Updike and The Scarlet Letter” which refutes Hawthorne’s view that body and soul are separate. Since the 21st century, the academia has analyzed the characters and scenes in the novels. Laura Ann Brown wrote “The Symbolism of Flora as Planted in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter” in 2010, which investigates and discusses the way Hawthorne arranged the specific plant varieties in a clever way in the novel. She aims to cultivate and enrich its theme and enrich its characters. In 2010, Manheim Daniel’s “Pearl’s Golden Chain in The Scarlet Letter” explored the significance of a scene in which the captain gave the pearl a gold chain. He argues that the gold chain does not represent the accumulation of material wealth in the slave trade, providing another perspective: the image of the golden chain was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries and Hawthorne used images to express themes of crime. In 2018, Mahini Ramtin Noor-Tehrani Barth Erin wrote “The Scarlet Letter: Embroidering Transcendentalism and Anti-transcendentalism Thread for an Early American World.” It demonstrates the use of transcendentalism and anti-transcendentalism in The Scarlet Letter, which is a wholly different perspective, and enriches the academic research on this novel.

The Scarlet Letter was introduced to China very early. Many scholars have conducted in-depth research on it. Some of them analyze its ideological theme from the social background and story structure while some others study the self-pursuits of love

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