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Weeds in The Scarlet Letter

Symbolism oooooohhhh!

Lauren Wilson

on 12 February 2013

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Transcript of Weeds in The Scarlet Letter

Weeds Quote 1 "Like all that pertains to crime, it seemed never to have known a youthful era. Before this ugly edifice, and between it and the wheel-track of the street, was a grass-plot, much overgrown with burdock, pigweed, apple-peru, and such unsightly vegetation, which evidently found something congenial in the soil that had so early borne the black flower of civilized society, a prison" (Hawthorne 50). Quote 2 "Even in the graveyard here at hand, [the weeds] are new to me. I found them growing on a grave, which bore no tombstone, nor other memorial of the dead man, save these ugly weeds, that have taken upon themselves to keep him in remembrance. They grew out of his heart, and typify, it may be, some hideous secret that was buried with him, and which he had done better to confess during his lifetime" (Hawthorne 135). Quote 3 "All his strength and energy--all his vital and intellectual force--seemed at once to desert him; insomuch that he positively withered up, shrivelled away, and almost vanished from mortal sight, like an uprooted weed that lies wilting in the sun. This unhappy man had made the very principle of his life to consist in the pursuit and systematic exercise of revenge; and when, by its completest triumph and consummation, that evil principle was left with no further material to support it,--when, in short, there was no more devil's work on earth for him to do, it only remained for the unhumanized mortal to betake himself whither his Master would find him tasks enough, and pay him his wages duly" (Hawthorne 270). As a Symbol In The Scarlet Letter By Lauren Wilson Weeds are Symbolic of Sin Quote 1 Quote 2 Quote 3 Works Cited Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin, 1894. Print.

Horan, Mrs. "Scarlet Letter." Mrs. Horan's Classroom. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013. <http://www.wlcsd.org/webpages/mhoran/honors_eng_10aabb.cfm?subpage=1190035>.

"The Scarlet Letter." UK Essays. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.

"Scarlet Letters Use Of Symbolism To Show Psychological Effects Of Sin." 123HelpMe.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013. Burdock Pigweed Apple-Peru

Puritanism revolves around order
Weeds are unkempt and wild
If you are free-thinking (or "wild")
then the Puritans will label you
as a sinner and put you in jail
(Horan) Prisons are where criminals
are put for punishment Criminals
Sinners Weeds are the
symbol of sin, so weeds
grow around where
the sinners are The person buried there was a sinner, but he never confessed his sins during his life
So, the man is consumed by his sins (represented by the weeds covering his grave) that were so bad that they were the only thing left of him after he died (shown by the lack of a tombstone)
("Scarlet Letters Use of Symbolism")
... It's Chillingworth. Chillingworth is compared to a dying weed, because he is a sinner
His sin, even referred to as an "evil principle," is his thirst for vengeance against Dimmesdale
The concept of sin is developed further when it talks about Chillingworth being a servant of the Devil
Associating Chillingsworth with weeds makes him the true sinner and antagonist in the novel, not Hester
("The Scarlet Letter")
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