Literary devices in "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne include symbolism and theme. The scarlet letter worn by Hester and the red mark that appears on Dimmesdale's chest represent guilt and the nature of evil, which are major themes of the novel.Continue Reading
The novel examines the universal idea of sin and its consequences. Hester and Dimmesdale have committed adultery and suffer because of their actions. Whereas Hester is punished by society, Dimmesdale is tortured by his own guilty conscience.
Hester is forced to wear a scarlet letter to remind everyone of her crime. At first, the letter represents her guilt, but it later comes to symbolize Hester’s serenity and personal growth. The mark on Dimmesdale’s chest represents his inner turmoil, and it acts to remind him of his own guiltLearn more about Classics