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Circle Imagery in the Scarlet Letter

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Circle/Spherical Motif in The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is in many ways a symbolic novel, in which many tangible images/motifs to represent larger and intangible ideas or themes such as passion and goodness. Many of these motifs intertwine with the plot, developing and forming it, as well as developing the characters of the novel and bringing them to life. Some of the most significant are seen throughout the novel, from start to finish, even contributing to the resolution of the novel. One of these is the use of circular or spherical imagery, and although not specifically stated, the way in which this image is used alludes to the sense of belonging and at times isolation or exclusion, as it is meant to be an enclosed space. The use of spheres and circles mostly signifies a characters belonging or connection to a society or another person. In the novel, the reader sees the relationship between characters in the novel as well as their role in the main situation of the novel which was caused by Hester’s act of adultery. This is because the sphere kind of represents the situation that was a result of the sin committed in the beginning of the novel; the sin of adultery and how the characters can and cannot escape from the situation or rather consequences of this act.
In the beginning, Hester is very much isolated from society because of her ‘sin’ of adultery. In many ways, this resulted in her having to sacrifice her place in society. Hawthorne states “Every gesture, every word, and even the silence of those with whom she came in contact, implied, and often expressed, that she was banished, and as much alone as if she inhabited another sphere, or communicated with the common nature by other organs and senses than the rest of human kind [81]” and “Children, too young to comprehend wherefore this woman should be shut out from the sphere of…...

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