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Symbolism Of Forest And The Scarlet Letter

Decent Essays
Symbolism of Forest’s Aspects in Relation to the scarlet l`etter A In the Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne discusses the hurdles Hester Prynne, the protagonist, goes through due to her sinful nature with her child, the mocking Puritans, and the past always creeping up on her. Often these obstacles appear when she is in the forest, making it a very critical locality in the book. Nathaniel Hawthorne brilliantly uses symbolism to convey how the three main aspects of the forest—the stream, the logs, and the sunshine— all correlate to the Scarlet A that Hester wears on her chest. In the beginning of the novel, the scarlet letter is seen as a symbol of Hester great sin of adultery and the child she has thence bared. Hester has always seen the scarlet letter as a shameful symbol of her sins she has made. Yet Pearl, Hester’s daughter, matures only knowing her mother with the scarlet letter and loving her for it. Pearl grows to love the A so much that she her self tries to duplicate it, “As the last touch to her mermaid’s garb, Pearl took some eelgrass, and imitated, as best she could, on her own bosom, the decoration with which she was so familiar on her mother’s A letter- the letter A- but freshly green, instead of scarlet” (Hawthorne 155). The scarlet letter has become a significant symbol in Pearl’s life and she cannot bare the thought of not having it. This deep attachment to the A leads Pearl to desiring one for herself. In one instance she had a fit about it by, “Stamping
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