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In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, what does the forest and the brook in it...

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abcd000 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted August 12, 2012 at 10:58 AM via web

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, what does the forest and the brook in it symbolise?

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rap147 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 12, 2012 at 5:34 PM (Answer #1)

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The forest is a symbol of a more natural and "wild" nature. Hawthorne sets up a diachotomy between the town and the forest. The town is where man made law regulates every ones behavior. People are in full view and must abide by the societal systems. The forest is a place where they go to hide and take part in their transgressions. Hester and Dimmesdale meet in the forest. Mistress Hibbins takes her rides there. It is a place that is governed by natural urges rather than human imposed order. Hester isespecially interesting because her cottage is on the edge of town. She lives almost in the forest, so follows her natural urges more, but still exists and is governed by the regulations of Boston. 

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jjrichardson | Student, College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted August 20, 2012 at 11:47 PM (Answer #2)

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symbols · The scarlet letter; the town scaffold; the meteor; Pearl; the rosebush next to the prison door

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