The Scarlet Letter

"‘The Sunshine Does Not Love You’”: Use of Semiotics in The Scarlet Letter 10th Grade

Abbey Crowley

Dr. East

Honors English 10

December 11, 2015

"‘The Sunshine Does Not Love You’”: Use of Semiotics in The Scarlet Letter

The Romantic Era: an undeniably significant milestone in the transition from British-American literature to American literature. The Romantic Era broke out of the confinements of the previous Enlightenment period to use more symbolism, natural elements, and emotion. For example, in describing the scientific concept of electricity, Benjamin Franklin plainly states states, “To electrise plus or minus… the parts of the Tube or Sphere... attract the Electrical Fire” while Nathaniel Hawthorne artistically phrases “the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time.” This being said, Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter perfectly illustrates Romantic techniques. In order to fully comprehend the text, it becomes necessary to consider Nathaniel Hawthorne’s implants of semiotics into The Scarlet Letter through clear symbols such as Hester Prynne’s embroidered “A”, the brook in the forest, and the use of sunlight.

Regarding the letter, Hester’s Scarlet “A” operates initially to humiliate her, with the letter representing Hester’s sin and moral failure, yet...

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