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The forest is mainly referenced in chapters 16-17, when Hester, Pearl, and Dimmsdale meet. With Dimmsdale's high status and Hester's position as outcast, the two would never have been able to spend time with each other under open sky, where anyone could see them. The forest provides cover and therefore allows the people walking in it to be their true selves. Dimmsdale can speak openly about how his guilt for not owning up to his sin is leaving him no room for peace. Hester can frankly speak of her husband Roger Chillingworth and his ill intentions for Dimmsdale. Out of the sun, shaded by trees, public image loses all significance, and truth remains in its stead.
symbols · The scarlet letter; the town scaffold; the meteor; Pearl; the rosebush next to the prison door
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