The Scarlet Letter


Why does Hawthrone begin the story with a reflection about the need for a cemetery and a prison?

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Hawthorne's allusion to prisons at the beginning of the story sets the stage for the two different types of imprisonment that will come to light in the novel. The first, is literal..... physical imprisonment. The other is a spiritual imprisonment..... the letter Hester is forced to wear that keeps her imprisoned even after she is allowed to leave the jail. In essence, the prison is a metaphor for the dual meaning that is addressed throughout the story.


The Scarlet Letter