The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1063 Words Oct 12th, 2015 5 Pages
In “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the setting, and contrasts between settings, definitely play a role in conveying the meaning of the work. Though some may contend that the wilderness represents an escape from punishment in the town, it is more accurately described as a place of truth. The truthful, fair forest and the secretive, hypocritical town have distinct contrasts that add to the themes of nature being more forgiving than man, secrets have a destructive effect on the secret-keeper, and the Puritan society is characterized by hypocrisy. First, the two settings, the forest and the town, differ because the forest is more natural. The forest is pure, and without human interaction it still would have existed. On the other hand, there is the town which would not exist without humans. Also, the two settings’ differences are shown in the scene with Pearl by the brook. “Pearl resembled the brook, inasmuch as the current of her life gushed from a wellspring as mysterious and had flowed through scenes shadowed as heavily with gloom. But, unlike the little stream, she danced and sparkled, and prattled airily along her course” (Hawthorne 178). This shows that Pearl and the brook are very comparable, and them being compared brings out all of the natural and pure qualities in both. Despite Pearl’s mysterious origin in the town, she is still able to be free and pure in the forest. Lastly, the two places differ because the forest is free, compared to the confined town.…

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