The scarlet leter essay

The Scarlet Letter

For the first time in seven years they are able to meet with each other in private without needing to worry about being caught. Surrounded by the twilight in the forest, Hester and Dimmesdale slowly start to open up to each other. They freely begin to talk about starting a new life with each other as a family, and Hester slowly starts to become blissful. The forest allows these two young lovers to freely reunite and be happy together.

Heroes in the Scarlet Letter Essay

Where else, the rest of the novel surrounds itself in an aura of gloominess, this one scene in the novel permits Hester and Dimmesdale to be filled with love and joy. It is the first and only time in the novel where Hester allows herself the freedom to remove the badge of shame. She had not known the weight, until she felt freedom! The forest lets Hester choose whether she agrees with the Puritan society or if she is against it.

Secondly, the forest also manages to bring out the natural personalities of the characters. One of the characters Hawthorne uses to demonstrate this is Pearl. To Pearl, the forest is her best friend, a place where she is truly accepted. In the forest, Pearl can be as bright and joyful as she wishes because the forest acknowledges her for who she is- a moody, curious, care-free, innocent, and intuitive child who also happens to be a social outcast. The forest also brings out her personality because of her connection with nature. Pearl is the romantic character in the novel due to her personality traits.

In the forest, she is accepted as a friend by all the animals, and the light constantly chases her wherever she goes. The light represents truth and purity. It constantly surrounds Pearl because she is an innocent and also a child who had no doing in the in her parents committed. A second character who brings forth their inner traits in the forest is Hester. Hawthorne uses the forest to give life to Hester and permits Hester to be herself again. However upon her secret rendezvous with the reverend, Hester takes off the cap on her head and all at once the air about her gradually starts to change.

She regains her sexuality, and not only does she become the person she was seven years ago, but symbolically, she removes the strict moral code of the Puritan society.

Pearl: Scarlet Letter Character Analysis

Even though it is for a short period of time, the forest gives her the audacity to be herself again. The last character who brings forth their natural personality in the novel is Dimmesdale. He starts to regain himself in the forest upon his meeting with Hester, and for the first time in the novel, Dimmesdale is happy and optimistic.

Just as Hester and Dimmesdale are conversing about their escape to restart their lives with Pearl, Dimmesdale begins to believe in happy endings and his concern for what society desires dissolves for a moment in the woods.

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The forest, in the end, brings out the natural individuality of the characters of Pearl, Hester, and Dimmesdale. Finally, the forest serves as a symbol to represent a dark civilization on the outskirts of the Puritan society. Hawthorne does this by presenting the readers with the story of the Black Man in the forest.

All throughout the novel, the Black Man of the forest is mentioned at various points. The story of the Black Man represents a sense of superstition and true temptation in the novel. Of course, most villagers attribute this to his unrelenting and exhausting devotion to his religious studies, unaware of the true evil that is troubling him. I left him yonder in the forest.


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Ridding himself of the horrible weight that Dimmesdale carried upon himself for seven years is liberating. Of course, the weight of seven years is not so easily purged; Dimmesdale reveals to all of the townsfolk his sin and casts aside his garments to reveal his very own stigma.

Dimmesdale suddenly becomes very weak, and dies. In his final moments, readers are left with the comforting truth that Dimmesdale rids himself of the weight that he carried for so long. However, this cautionary tale proves that spending our lives trying to store away our dark secrets is not advised, seeing as how this action resulted in Dimmesdale paying the ultimate price. While the aforementioned characters deal with their secret sin in very different ways, the connections between them are also very noteworthy.

For starters, the secret is mutual; their act of adultery effectively bonds them together for the rest of their lives, whether they want to accept it or not. However, both characters are forced to deal with it in separate ways. Bearing a child without a father, Hester is cast aside by the community, and is forced to face the ridicule.

Dimmesdale, while facing similar feelings, has the blessing as well as the curse of keeping his involvement a secret. Dimmesdale avoids public ridicule and maintains his position as reverend, yet must deal with the traumatizing secret internally.


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  • By the end of the novel, neither Hester nor Dimmesdale seem to regret the choices they made, for the miracle of Pearl was enough to justify their actions. While the love story of Dimmesdale and Hester may be tragic, their assurance that Pearl will live a happy life helps them to rest easily.


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    • Keeping a secret is a daunting task, and may affect an individual in ways they do not realize. Watching their lives unfold, readers are given insight into how secret sin affects a person.

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      The Scarlet Letter Essay Examples | Kibin

      Hawthorne seems to be urging his audience to avoid being put in such situations; for the end result can be deadly. Bercovitch, Sacvan. Hawthorne Hotel, Salem. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Fiction: A Pocket Anthology.