What Is an Example of Personification in “The Scarlet Letter”?

An example of personification in “The Scarlet Letter” is the line “addressing the whole human brotherhood in the heart’s native language.” This is personification, because the heart does not speak. Another example is a passage that describes roses offering beauty to people coming to and from the jail. However, the flowers are not able to perform the act of offering, much as a person would be able to.

In “The Scarlet Letter,” Pearl also personifies a brook by asking it “foolish and tiresome little brook…why art thou so sad?” In reality, Pearl is reflecting her own human emotions onto a non-living thing.

The main character, Hester, also serves as a living personification of the scarlet letter she is branded with. Although the scarlet letter only signifies certain actions and the judgment of others, by taking ownership of the letter, Hester gives this non-living thing human qualities by making it a part of herself. Additionally, Hester speaks of the scarlet letter in terms that attribute human emotions and qualities to it, which further personifies it.

“The Scarlet Letter” was written by Nathanial Hawthorne in 1850. The story revolves around the life of Hester, who is publicly shamed after refusing to name the father of her child, Pearl. She proudly wears a letter “A” throughout her life, which signifies that she has committed adultery. After revealing the identity of Pearl’s true father, Hester is buried and given a gravestone with the letter “A” on it.