What Are Examples of Similes in "The Scarlet Letter"?

One simile in "The Scarlet Letter" occurs in the book's prologue when the narrator writes that a hearty old man's voice is "like the crow of a cock, or the blast of a clarion." A simile is a figure of speech comparing two unlike things using "like" or "as."

Nathaniel Hawthorne uses similes throughout the book. In the first chapter, the narrator writes that an ugly expression that flashes across a man's face is "like a snake gliding swiftly over them." In chapter eight, he writes that the child Pearl standing on the window ledge looks "looking like a wild tropical bird of rich plumage, ready to take flight into the upper air."

Hawthorne also uses similes that use the word "as." For example he writes that a man who has disappeared from society vanished "out of life as completely as if he indeed lay at the bottom of the ocean." Later, in chapter ten, Dimmesdale says that a person may seem "pure as new-fallen snow" but still have significant sin in her heart.

Hawthorne also employs a number of adjectival similes throughout the text, writing that someone has a "saint-like frown" in chapter 11 and describing a "tomb-like heart" in chapter 15.