The Symbolism Of The Forest In The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1458 Words 6 Pages
“Civilization largely consists in hiding human nature”, a quote by Opie Read, which holds true in The Scarlet Letter. Throughout the novel, many lies were told, sins committed and acts of hate and discrimination occurred in the town, which was thought to be civilized, pure and in strict order. On the other hand in the forest, which was viewed as a place where immortality and sins were committed, actually has the opposite meaning than it’s suspected to represent. The forest was where some characters escaped to in order to find feelings of freedom, forgiveness and acceptance from nature. It is very important to remember that even though a place is thought to represent one concept, its actual representation can be the exact opposite than what …show more content…
This quote is a perfect representation of the role that nature plays in this novel, “The deep heart of nature could pity and be kind to him.” (Nawthorne, 56) Although the forest has a dark and mysterious appearance, it’s true meaning and representation is the complete opposite. The forest is a place of forgiving, accepting and offers comfort to people involving their situations and conflicts. A perfect first example of this is when Hester and Dimmesdale escape the town and reunite in the forest. The two young lovers get the chance to talk to each other again without worries of the towns people watching and catching on to their sin. The two get to discuss their situation and converse about who Hester 's husband was. After finding out, Dimmesdale felt betrayed for a short while, but then forgave Hester and wished that God would too forgive the both of them. Dimmesdale forgave Hester in the forest, the place which allowed forgiving. Connecting with the first example, when Hester and Dimmesdale met up to converse, nature opened their eyes to some important things that mankind could never do. With the forest being such a contrast in atmosphere and even appearance from the town, the two lovers made the decision that they will move to …show more content…
It is very apparent in this novel that civilization and nature contrast each other, which contributes to one of the main themes being conveyed throughout. All through The Scarlet Letter, the lies told, sins committed and acts of hate and discrimination occurred within the town, which was thought to be civilized and pure. On the other hand, all of the freedom, forgiving and acceptance happened within the nature of the forest, which is where the Puritans believed to be where acts of immorality and sins happen. It is very important to remember that even though a place is thought to represent one concept, its actual representation can be the exact opposite than what some perceive it

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