The Settings of the Scarlet Letter Essay examples

960 Words Apr 11th, 2012 4 Pages
Settings of Scarlet Letter The settings in The Scarlet Letter are very important in displaying the themes of the novel. The settings in this novel are almost characters, for they are an important part in developing the story. The scaffold, the forest, the prison, and Hester’s cottage are settings that show sin and its consequences result in shame and suffering. The scaffold shows how the punishment imposed on us by others may not be as destructive as the guilt we impose on ourselves. When Hester was standing on the scaffold she is not thinking about being punished. She is having flashbacks to earlier times and feeling guilty for what she had done. The scaffold is a platform used for redemption and a symbol of the harsh Puritan code. …show more content…
This rose bush represents nature and all its beauty. It shows that nature even in dark and sad times can still shine and continue to provide hope to those who need it. The rose bush also in a way represents Hester in that she came from a dark place, yet everyone is admiring her beauty instead of thinking about the sin she is now representing.
The final important setting in The Scarlet Letter is Hester’s cottage. The cottage represents that the recognition of our own weakness may make us ultimately stronger and more sympathetic to the weakness of others. Hester is now isolating herself from the Puritan society because of her sin. She even has a chance to leave Boston and escape her sin, but she is either drawn to the fact that a great event in her life had happened here or that her secret lover still lived in Boston. The cottage is also an escape from the harsh town’s people that continue to judge her. Since she is living away from the Puritan society, she is living in peace. She also begins to gain strength because of her sin. This leads to Hester changing her weakness of adultery to the strength of being able to help out others.
All of these settings represent different things. The scaffold shows that secret sins will be found out in the end, either in life or death. The forest shows that there is much temptation in the world and there is always a place where it seems safe to preform those sins and never get caught. The prison shows that sin will be

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