Scarlet Letter Forest Symbolism

Words: 924
Pages: 4

In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses many symbols, for example the forest, sunshine and water. Symbols of things would be the scarlet letter itself and the symbols of places would be like the scaffold. Pearl is also one of the heavily symbolized characters in the book.
One important part of the book is when Hester Prynne speaks to Dimmesdale about their predicament which takes place in the forest.Throughout the novel, it becomes very apparent that there is a difference between the forest and the town. The forest is described as a dismal, gloomy place that is full of shadows with a cloudy sky that is filled with threatening storms. The forest symbolizes a dark and mysterious place where impulses and urges reign and also where the unknown are to be kept a secret. The forest also could be interpreted with religious meaning because of how it is dark
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Pearl was the outcome of the sin that Hester committed with Dimmesdale, causing Pearl to be both a curse and a gift for Hester. The reason why she is a curse for Hester is because Pearl’s living being is a reminder of Hester’s sin, which is her punishment. Since she is also Hester’s joy since she paid a heavy price to have Pearl, which is why her name is Pearl. Pearl is also symbolized as the devil’s child according to the town’s people. Pearl and along with Hester was made an outcast made by the town people.
As you can see, in The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses three main categories of symbols. He uses natural ones such as the forest, sunshine and water. He also uses symbols of things which would be the scarlet letter itself and finally, he uses places like the scaffold. Hawthorne also uses Pearl as a symbol to represent Hester’s sin and the scarlet letter. The religious meaning for the forest represents the devil. The sunshine represents God and the scaffold represents the place where God takes judgement upon