Symbolism in "The Scarlet Letter", whoa just gave one away!.
A symbol is defined as something that stands for or represents something else, especially an idea, quality, or condition. Symbols, also, can be objects, characters, figures, or colors used to represent, in most cases, ideas or concepts, which in novels, usually contribute to the main theme in the book. Sometimes referred to as "the first symbolic novel to be written in the United States", "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne contains many symbols that are apparent throughout the novel, and reoccur at many different places. While symbols are created, those symbols must be given meaning within their context and, because the context differs, these symbols can vary over time, as seen in this novel. Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" contains many symbols, including the forest, Pearl, and the scarlet letter itself, which all contribute to the main theme of sin and its consequences.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter," life is in the center of a stiff Puritan society in which no one is able to freely express their deepest thoughts. Puritan society does not allow its people to show how they really feel, and if they do, society extremely looks down upon it. Therefore, characters, in order to express their inner thoughts and true feelings, must seek refuge, which, in this case, brings in the forest, which represents a place of solitude or truthfulness for the main characters of this novel. Hester Prynne, the books protagonist, is a young woman who has cheated on her husband, Roger Prynne, with Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester bore a baby from this relationship, and was forced to wear a scarlet letter "A" for adultery. Hester uses the forest to bring out many hidden emotions, but mostly to use it as an outlet where she can convey her love for Dimmesdale, a Puritan minister, who will not confess his sin of adultery.