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Word Count: 1,081
In Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter life is centered around a rigid Puritanistic-structured society in which one is unable to divulge his or her innermost thoughts and secrets Every human being needs the opportunity to express how they truly feel or the emotion is bottled up until it becomes volatile Unfortunately Puritan society did not permit this expression so characters had to seek alternate means in order to relieve themselves Luckily at least for the four main characters Hawthorne provides such a sanctuary in the form of the mysterious forest Hawthorne uses the forest to provide a shelter for members of society in need of a refuge from daily lifeIn the deep dark portions of the forest many of the pivotal characters bring forth hidden thoughts and emotions The forest track leads away from the settlement out into the wilderness where all signs of civilization vanish This is precisely the escape route from strict mandates of law and religion to a refuge where men as well as women can open up and be themselves It is here that Dimmesdale can openly 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 openly engage in conversation without being preoccupied with the constraints that Puritan society places on them The forest itself is free Nobody watches in the woods to report misbehavior so it is here where people do as they wish To independent spirits like Hester Prynnes 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 And no wonder hemmed in as you are on every side by prohibitions Why you can hardly walk without tripping over one commandment or another Come to me and be masterless Truly Hester takes advantage of this when Arthur
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