The Scarlet Letter

by

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Scarlet Letter can help.

Red and Black

Red symbolizes the glow of Hester's passion. Black represents the devil and sin. Chillingworth, for instance, refers to their shared fate as a "black flower." The inscription on the tombstone Hester and Dimmesdale share… (read full symbol analysis)

The Scarlet Letter

The Puritans mean for the scarlet letter to be a symbol of Hester's shame. But the narrator describes the letter as a "mystic symbol" that means many things. The letter does represent Hester Prynne's… (read full symbol analysis)

Pearl

Pearl is a living symbol, the physical embodiment of Hester and Dimmesdale's sin. In Chapter 19, the narrator even calls Pearl a "living hieroglyphic." Yet Pearl, from her name to her comfort with nature… (read full symbol analysis)