Harvard University

What does Hawthorne say the rose symbolizes?

The Scarlet Letter: Chapter 1 Prison-Door

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The Rosebush is definitely worth a closer look. Note also where it grows: next to the prison. It symbolizes nature's endurance and impartiality in contrast to human affairs. In a narrative that has such dark undertones of sin (Hester and Dimmesdale) and evil ( Chillingsworth) and their respective impact on the human condition, the rose is indeed a "blossom" that has enduring neutrality while the whole Puritan community is judgemental.