Such restraint acts as a punishment, because the wicked impulse is thereby prevented from realizing itself; but it is intrinsically an act not of revenge, but of love, since the criminal is thereby preserved from increasing his sinful burden by accomplishing in fact what he had purposed in thought.
In literature, a symbol is most often a concrete object used to represent an idea more abstract and broader in scope and meaning — often a moral, religious, or philosophical concept or value.
But, in either instance, behind this imported evil stands the personal soul: and the question is, Shall the soul become the victim of its involuntary circumstances?
His characters, the scarlet A, light and darkness, color imagery, and the settings of forest and village serve symbolic purposes.
This is an idea which it was left to Hawthorne to originate: ancient nor modern fiction supplies a parallel to Pearl. Like nature and animals, she is anterior to moral law; but, unlike them, she is human, too.
But the beauty makes the ugliness only the more impressive, because we feel it to be a magical or phantasmal beauty, enticing like the apples of Sodom, but full of bitterness within.
The example essays in Kibin's library were written by real students for real classes.
When she meets Dimmesdale in the forest in Chapter 18, Hawthorne says, "The tendency of her fate and fortunes had been to set her free.
Here in the forest, she is free and in harmony with nature. But it did not so appear to the author's mind. In all these examples, the meaning of the symbol depends on the context and sometimes the interpreter. As with one passion, so with another! Still later, the letter is an immense red A in the sky, a green A of eel-grass arranged by Pearl, the A on Hester's dress decorated by Pearl with prickly burrs, an A on Dimmesdale's chest seen by some spectators at the Election Day procession, and, finally, represented by the epitaph "On a field, sable, the letter A, gules" gules being the heraldic term for "red" on the tombstone Hester and Dimmesdale share.
He is unable to reveal his sin.