What are some examples of nature possessing qualities typically associated with people in The Scarlet Letter?  diction, irony, hyperbole, imagery, metaphor, paradox, etc.  

Expert Answers
clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think one of the ways this question can be answered is by looking at descriptions and comparisons of Pearl to sunshine.  It seems that wherever Pearl goes, the sunshine follows her - even though Hester tends to desire remaining in the shadows.

Descriptions like this can be found throughout the novel, but Chapter 16 is particularly descriptive in Pearl and Hester's walk to the forest (where they will meet Dimmesdale).  As the clouds and shade from the trees are shifting with the wind, Hawthorne describes that it leaves Pearl constantly in the sunshine.  Pearl herself even comments in this chapter, something to the effect that the sunshine is avoiding Hester.

The opposite of this sunshine effect on Pearl is found in   Chillingworth - who seems to bring a shadow of doom and gloom with him wherever he goes.  Chapters 9 and 10 contain descritive language showing that Chillingworth seems to possess natural evil qualities.

Throughout the novel, Hawthorne uses these two symbols of light and darkness to show good vs. evil.

Also, revisit the three chapters (16-20) where Hester and Dimmesdale meet in the woods.  These have the most description of nature seemingly playing along with the emotions and events taking place for Hester and Dimmesdale - from the brook and trees "whispering" Hester's secrets, to the shade and sunlight following her and exposing her shame.

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The Scarlet Letter

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