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In Salem, the details of setting seem normal and ordinary: The threshold, street, church, meetinghouse, bed, pulpit, and grave are all a part of the town. The forest setting is provided with seemingly ordinary trees and a path which becomes increasingly unusual and symbolic. The woodland meeting place is characterized by the realistic details of the “dark wall of the forest,” the altarlike rock, the blazing pines, the dense foliage, and the vague and sinful hymn—all bathed in red light. One can justify the forest setting as symbolic because it is a focus of Brown’s preoccupation with sin, and because there the devil-like figure describes his awesome power (paragraphs 63–65).
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