The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

13) Why does Hester choose the forest to meet Dimmesdale and Chillingworth?

Hester meets Chillingworth and Dimmesdale on separate occasions in the forest because that is the place where she can speak honestly, openly, and privately, removed from the public scrutiny of the town. The forest represents a wilder, more honest setting, where emotions can be freely expressed without judgment and repression. The forest is also the place where the “Black Man” lives and witches hold meetings, a place inhabited by the unknown and where the stuff of a person’s dreams might be found.