Scarlet Letter Essay

Submitted By olympian82
Words: 733
Pages: 3

In New England in the 17th Century, scaffolds were used as objects to humiliate people. In The Scarlet Letter there are three scaffold scenes. In the first scene, Hester Prynne and her new born baby Pearl are atop the scaffold to be humiliated for her sins. In the second, it is Hester, Pearl, and Rev. Dimmesdale on the scaffold. Dimmesdale is felling very guilty and wants to tell the truth. On the final scaffold scene it is again Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale but this time Dimmesdale has finally admitted his sins so that he can die in peace. Throughout the Scarlet Letter the three scaffold scenes bring out the true Character of Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale. The story introduces us to Hester Prynne and Pearl in the first scaffold scene. Hester has been charged with the crime of Adultery and is on the Scaffold to be humiliated. She stands there alone holding Pearl while being mocked by both the towns people and the Preachers. While all of these terrible things are going on, however, Hester is surprisingly not affected by the humiliation of the scarlet letter that is stitched into her cloths. This shows her true character especially in the event where she is continually questioned about who the father of Pearl is. Even though she will not tell, it is very obvious to the readers that Rev. Dimmesdale is the farther. Having this a secret will overwhelm him with guilt to the extent of eventually killing him. Although Rev. Dimmesdale will eventually die from his guilt, the second scaffold scene depicts Dimmesdale atop the scaffold in the dead of night trying to rid himself of his guilt. He somehow has wandered out of his house and into the center of town to the scaffold. No one is around to see him because it is very late but he intends to stay there the whole night so that when the town wakes up, they will see him as soon as they walked out of their doors. While on top of the scaffold he is surprised to see Hester and Pearl walking to their home. He stops them and convinces Hester to get onto the scaffold with him so that they will share in the humiliation this time. A little while later, however, Chillingworth who unknown to Dimmesdale is Hester’s husband sees them up there. As Dimmesdale’s doctor he tells Dimmesdale that he is just acting crazy because of his sickness. After a while of speaking he convinces him to come down. He does not accomplish his goal and will have to live with the guilt a little while longer. In the years that follow, the story of Hester Prynne and the scarlet letter have changed from something she is ridiculed by, to people looking up to her. In the life of Dimmesdale, however, things…