In chapter 12 of How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Thomas Foster observes that symbols are placed very commonly throughout works of literature, but the tricky part is deciding how to interpret them. In both The Scarlet Letter and The Age of Innocence, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edith Wharton use different symbols in order to convey a basic theme throughout each of the books. In The Scarlet Letter, the main symbol that is used to describe Hester Prynne is the scarlet letter “A.” This letter is a very important part of the story because it not only isolates Hester from the rest of the Puritan society, but it also can have many different interpretations as it is looked at in different ways. One of these interpretations is that the “A” can stand for adultery, due to the fact that Hester was with Arthur while she was still married to Chillingworth. On the other hand, the letter “A” can also be interpreted as a hint to the fact that she is wearing the scarlet letter because of Arthur, which begins with the letter A. In this case, the same symbol can be used to interpret many different situations, but in The Age of Innocence, Wharton writes a little bit differently, although she is still using symbolism. Wharton uses flowers to show Newland Archer’s relationship with both May and Ellen, but she uses different colors/types of flowers to mean different things. For example, Newland sends Ellen yellow flowers, a color that is not only bright and vibrant, indicating that their love for each other is great. Nevertheless, it also is a color known to signify jealously. But, Newland sends May white flowers, a color that is known for being pure and innocent; therefore, Newland believes that May is a very good and innocent woman. This is a very effective writing style for Wharton because it tells the reader something about Newland’s thoughts about both women without being too straightforward. Therefore, both Hawthorne and Wharton use symbolism in order to enhance their writing, and it is incredible to think about all the different symbols that authors have used in their stories to create deeper meanings.
Calendar of Posts in the Crowsnest
Crowsnest's Categories#Placemaking 21st Century Learning 21st Century Skills Alternative Assessment for Twain 2016 American Literary Studies American poets American Studies AP Mindset Art Becoming an American Literary Critic Biblical Allusions Biblical Allusions 2017 Bloom's Taxonomy Book Reviews Colonial Literature Connecticut River Valley History Digital Shakespeare Disposition of a Critical Thinker English I English III English III Honors English IV Feminism Flipped Classroom Grammar, Usage Homework Honors English III HOT Log 2/15/14 HOT Log Farmington 2014 HOT Log Florence 1/20/14 HOT Logs Dec. 2013 Humor Infographic Local History Modernism Old Center Cemetery Pleasure Reading Poetry Project Based Learning Reflective Assessment Religion Satire Shakespeare Shakespeare's Comedies Class Shakespeare in Love Slavery SOLO Summer Reading Tennis Tennis Instruction Tennis Season 2013 Tennis Season 2014 Tennis Season 2015 Twain 2017 Twain Infographic Twitter UGRR Annotated Bibliography Uncategorized Underground Railroad Writing
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn America in Primetime American Experience american poets Anne Hutchinson Anne Sexton AP English AP Mindset archeology Biblical Allusion Biblical Allusions Billy Collins book review Civil Rights Colonial Literature Complicity David Ruggles Edutopia.org Elizabeth Gilbert English III English III Honors Extra Credit Farmington CT Feminist Grant Growth Mindset Harlem Renaissance Hawthorne Henry David Thoreau Holocaust Homework Honors English III HOT Log 2/15/14 Hot log Florence 1/20/14 Huckleberry Finn ideas imagery Jim Jing John Donne juxtaposition King Phillip's War Langston Hughes LangWitches.org Literature mark twain Melville Michael Wood Mississippi River modernism Painting PBS poem Poetry Poll Daddy Puritan realism Religion satire Scarlet Letter Shakespeare Shakespeare Comedies Shakespeare in Love She's The Man slavery Spring Poetry T.S. Eliot The Awakening The Great Gatsby The Scarlet Letter These Paper Bullets The Sun Also Rises underground railroad Whitman Will Smith