Hawthorne supposedly found the parchment sheets that contained the historical manuscript on which the novel is based in
the Salem Custom House, along with the faded scarlet A.
Hawthorne suggests that the wild rosebush that grows outside the prison door is a symbol of
natural, untamed beauty.
What does the scarlet letter look like?
Artistically done, with elaborate embroidery and flourishes of gold thread
Hester’s husband, Roger Chillingworth, is
much older than she is.
By punishing Hester with the scarlet letter, the Puritan community is
proclaiming its own smug self-righteousness.
Two symbolic images of the good and evil battling over Dimmesdale’s soul are
Chillingworth and Pearl.
When asked who created her, Pearl says it was
the wild rosebush outside the prison door.
As time goes by, Hester’s scarlet letter comes to stand for
Chillingworth became the greatest sinner in violating the human heart because he
single-mindedly was bent on personal revenge.
Hester tells Dimmesdale in the forest that humans have a right to be happy and that
the love she shared with him was sacred.
After she is released from prison, Hester remains in Boston because
every other place on earth would feel foreign to her, so she is bound, psychologically, to stay.
To support herself and Pearl, Hester sells needlework for all public ceremonies except
Following an impressive meteor shower, the people of Boston see a symbol in the sky: a huge letter A. They interpret this A as standing for
Hester decides to reveal Chillingworth’s true identity to Dimmesdale because
she realizes that Chillingworth is literally killing Dimmesdale.
Hester explains the scarlet letter to Pearl by saying it is
a mark left from her one meeting with the Black Man.