Books and Movies Reviews

The Scarlet Letter

InNathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter", life is centered around a rigid, pure society in which one is unable to show his or her deepest thoughts and secrets. Every human being needs the opportunity to express how they truly feel, or the emotion is bottled up until it explodes. Unfortunately, Puritan society did not permit this expression, so characters had to use different ways to relieve themselves. Luckily, at least for the four main characters, Hawthorne providesa refuge in the dark forest. Hawthorne uses the forest to provide a shelter for members of society in need of a retreat from daily life.
In the deep, dark parts of the forest, many of the significant characters bring out hidden thoughts and emotions. The forest track leads away from the settlement out into the wilderness where all signs of civilization is gone. This is the escape route, from strict requirements of law and religion. The forest is a refuge where men, as well as women, can open up, and be themselves. It is here that Dimmesdale can acknowledge Hester and his undying love for her. It is here that Hester can do the same for Dimmesdale. It is here that the two of them can engage in conversation, without being absorbed with the restraints that the Puritan society places on them. The forest is free. Nobody watches in the woods to report misconduct, so it is here where people do as they wish. To independent spirits like Hester Prynne's, the wilderness beckons her:”Throw off the shackles of law and religion. What good have they done you anyway? Look at you, a young and vibrant woman, grown old before you time. Why, you can hardly walk without tripping over one commandment or another. Come to me, and be free.”Hester takes advantage of this, when Dimmesdale appears. She talks to him about subjects which would never be mentioned in any place other than the forest. “What we did…” she reminds him, “had a consecration of its ow…


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