The symbolic scaffold scenes in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

They are the most dramatic scenes at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the novel. The first scaffold or pillory scene occurs right at the beginning of the novel when Hester stands with an infant in her arms on the scaffold in midday. She has committed the unforgivable sin of adultery and must be made a public spectacle. People jeer at her and mock her and while the people stand below the platform, the leaders of the community — civil officers, magistrates, priests — stand above on a balcony.

The symbolic scaffold scenes in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

The symbolic scaffold scenes in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

These scenes unite the plot, themes, and symbols in a perfect balance. The first scaffold scene, which occurs in Chaptersfocuses on Hester and the scarlet letter. She stands on the scaffold with quiet defiance, holding her baby in her arms.

The symbolic scaffold scenes in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

Meanwhile, a crowd of townspeople has gathered to watch her humiliation and hear a sermon. Her husband, Roger Chillingworth, has just returned and is in the outskirts of the crowd. Her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, shares her platform but not her public humiliation.

The principal characters are all here. The townspeople are present to pass judgement, just as they will be in the final scaffold scene. Hester stands alone with Pearl in her arms, a mere infant and sign of her sin. Dimmesdale, with other officials who represent the church-state, shares the platform.

His ambivalence about maintaining his silence can be seen in his demand that Hester tell the name of the child's father. In the crowd is also Roger Chillingworth whose voice is added to those of the crowd when demanding that Hester reveal her partner in sin. In this scene, we have Hester's public repentance, Dimmesdale's reluctance to admit his own guilt, and the beginning of Chillingworth's fiendish plot to find and punish the father.

The focus on the adultery and the letter is strengthened by the topic of sin in Mr. The Second Scaffold Scene The second scaffold scene again provides a view of all the principal characters, a dramatic vision of the scarlet A, and one of the most memorable tableaus in American literature.

In the covering of darkness, Dimmesdale has made his way to the scaffold to perform a silent vigil of his own.

Reading on The Scarlet Letter

So far we have seen Dimmesdale's conscious attempt to deal with his guilt, but now we go deep into his subconscious. In his spiritual torture, he cries out with a shriek of agony that is heard by Hester and Pearl as they journey to their home from the bed of the dying Governor Winthrop.

This cry is also heard by Mr. Hester and Pearl join Dimmesdale on the scaffold, the place where seven long years earlier "Hester Prynne had lived through her first hours of public ignominy. He replies that their meeting will be instead at the great judgement day rather than here in the daylight.

As though to taunt him, a great meteor burns through the dark sky, illuminating the scaffold, the street, and the houses. Hawthorne describes the scene as "an electric chain," the minister and his lover holding hands with their child between them. Also illuminated in the darkness is the fiendish face of Roger Chillingworth.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

This time, although the townspeople are not present, they talk about the scarlet A in the sky throughout the next day. The chapter abounds in symbols: In this powerful scene, Dimmesdale regains his soul, Pearl gains her humanity, Chillingworth loses his victim, and Hester loses her dreams.

Here again, the main characters come together, and this time Dimmesdale reveals his "scarlet letter. He escapes the diabolical clutches of Chillingworth who, without his victim, shrivels and dies. But he also triumphs over the evil that has overwhelmed him as he publicly confesses his part in Pearl's birth.The Scaffold Scenes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter In Nathaniel Hawthorne?s The Scarlet Letter, the Puritans constantly look down upon sinners like Hester Prynne, both literally and symbolically.

- The Scarlet Letter - Symbolism Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism several times in the book, The Scarlet Letter. Some examples of this are when they talk of . Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two.

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The Significance of the Scaffold Scenes in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter - Setting is the time and location in which the story takes place. Most Common Text: Click on the icon to return to and to enjoy and benefit. the of and to a in that is was he for it with as his on be at by i this had not are but from or have an they which one you were all her she there would their we him been has when who will no more if out so up said what its about than into them can only other time .

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