Scarlet Letter Symbolism Essay

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“It straggled onward into the mystery of the primeval forest.” ( Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter 86 ) Claiming the forest as a vast location of mysteries; illustrating its endless symbolism among the town’s people, Nathaniel Hawthorne starts off by portraying the forest as a place of temptation towards sin in Young Goodman Brown. As the reader transition from Young Goodman Brown to the The Scarlet Letter the original symbol of the forest is substituted with the thought of happiness. It’s shown to become the only place where Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale can be with each other without the thought of being punished by Puritan laws. The reader is initially introduced to the dual symbolism of the forest in Young Goodman…show more content…
In the novel it seemed as if it was the complete contradiction to its original symbol. Mentioned in the novel it says "Doth the universe lie within the compass of yonder town, which only a little time ago was but a leaf-strewn desert, as lonely as this around us? Whither leads yonder forest-track? Backward to the settlement, thou sayest! Yes; but, onward, too! Deeper it goes, and deeper into the wilderness, less plainly to be seen at every step; until some few miles hence the yellow leaves will show no vestige of the white man's tread. There thou art free! So brief a journey would bring thee from a world where thou hast been most wretched, to one where thou mayest still be happy! ” (Hawthorne, Scarlet 92) the forest is shown as a relief from the Puritan rules and authority. Later on the forest was set as a place where Hester and Dimmesdale can truly communicate with one another without the suspicion of someone revealing the truth. Not only did it serve as the location of where Hester and Dimmesdale can talk among one another, but as well as a significant representation of Hester’s cottage. The location of her cottage “It had been built by an earlier settler, and abandoned, because the soil about it was too sterile for cultivation, while its comparative remoteness put it out of the sphere of that social activity which already
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