The Forest In The Scarlet Letter

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Many people have conflicting ideas regarding the meaning of any given symbol. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the symbolism of the forest varies just as the symbols of the modern world. The forest, at first, represents the essence of evil and mystery, which transitions to a sort of friend for the young girl, Pearl, and finally, to a fortress of solitude for those who are supposedly living in sin or shame. In the beginning of The Scarlet Letter, the forest symbolizes evil and mystery. To the Puritans, who were known to be superstitious, it is the epitome of darkness and the vast unknown, since they do not likely visit the forest frequently. This would, in turn, indicate that they had minimal knowledge of the place. In…show more content…
During this stage, it grows to symbolize a friend, in some aspects, to Pearl. Nathaniel Hawthorne states, “The great black forest - stern as it showed itself to those who brought the guilt and troubles of the world into its bosom - became the playmate of the lonely infant, as well as it knew how” (140). Apparently, Hawthorne, who is the author of the story, concurred that the forest, at this point in the book, symbolizes a friend or playmate to Pearl. Nobody can more accurately estimate what the writer is thinking than he himself can. With this in mind, it appears as though Pearl’s only real friend in childhood was found in something other than an intelligent being (Hawthorne…show more content…
The above symbols vary from person to person and from time to time in Hester’s settlement. These symbolisms are not unusual attributes for people to associate with a forest today, depending on one’s mindset and personal experiences. The pristine quiet of the woods is largely underappreciated at the present time. Perhaps Hester was onto something when she strolled through the trees to find peace of mind and sift through her thoughts effectively. One can do so today to temporarily avoid the noise, the bustle, and the prying fingers of modern
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