In Nathaniel Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter, he uses many symbols in order to portray ideologies that texturize the novel. Some symbols which include the Scarlet A, Pearl, and the forest. .
The biggest and most important symbol in this book is the Scarlet A. It is the source of all Hester Prynne's problems and her repentance. The A first means Sin, it is the sign that she must wear for punishment, nonetheless; it becomes a symbol of able or angel. Hester stays and helps out the dying and their grieving families. Ultimately this symbol changes with the reader and the general society, in the same way that the natives thought it was a sign of her social status at Election date. When it all comes down to it the Scarlet A is just a sign of human contrivance.
Pearl, plays an important character role as well as a symbol. Pearl is sort of God's Scarlet Letter to her. She is a reminder of her sin and causes her great pains, but she is nonetheless a blessing. When Hester thinks about giving up Pearl gives her mother reasons to go on. When Pearl knows who her father is she is truly human. She always has a certain amount of light on her. She represents to goodness in life.
The forest is symbolic in many ways, such as the fact that Hester and Dimmesdale can profess their love for each other. In the forest sin tempts them. It is also the place of the "black man." The forest is supposedly where the witches meet. Mistress Hibbins says its were people go to do Satan's work. The forest is the symbol of man's temptation, specifically when Dimmesdale came back and tried to teach foul language to children and sin various other times. Another symbol of the forest is the natural world. Hester can do numerous things that she would not be able to do with the rigid Puritan Laws. So the forest represents the natural world and man's temptation.
The symbols in The Scarlet Letter provide great imagery of abstract ideas that Nathaniel Hawthorne uses.