Random House: New York, 2003: 209—210. The beauty of the scarlet letter drastically contrasts with its shameful recognition of adultery, analogous to how Hester is beautiful, yet burdened with the ownership to an ignominious affair. Salem is my Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the first scaffold scene Hester Prynne is depicted standing alone while clutching her baby. The final scaffold scene in some ways mimics the first.
The mother's impassioned state had been the medium through which were transmitted to the unborn infant the rays of its moral life; and, however white and clear originally, they had taken the deep stains of crimson and gold, the fiery lustre, the black shadow, and the untempered light of the intervening substance. This is the only moment of pride for Dimmesdale throughout the entire book. He declares that God has led him there. Come up hither once again, and we will stand all three together! He apparently wills his own death, thereby breaking away from Puritan morals. Such helpfulness was found in her—so much power to do, and power to sympathize—that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. His life has dimmed itself ever since his sin, causing his light of life to fade and dim.
He did not, at that time, have the strength or the will to do so himself, and was begging Hester to reveal him for what he was. After she returns to her prison cell, the jailer brings in Roger Chillingworth, a physician, to calm Hester and her child with his roots and herbs. The pain in his breast causes him to scream aloud, and he worries that everyone in the town will wake up and come to look at him. The first scaffold scene begins the novel. Hawthorne utilizes the three scaffold scenes throughout the novel in order to manifest the progression of Dimmesdale from a craven, self-preserving, and religiously bound minister to a more candid and truly passionate father. After Hester is convicted of adultery, she is portrayed as an outcast of society. Hester is punished to wear the scarlet letter A, which stands for Adultery, on her breast.
. However, this victory for the entrenched ways seems to be only temporary. This is beneficial to the novel because it allows Hawthorne to verbally illustrate dramatic scenes that pertain to each character individually. He accepts this, stating that he will find out anyway, and forces her to hide that he is her husband. His death frees Pearl from her role as symbol of her parents' guilt, so she can become a compassionate and caring human being. Hester Prynne arrives to the second scaffold scene a little while after Dimmesdale had cried out in repentance. Thereafter, he would pledge to avenge himself of the man that had partnered in wronging him.
During this time, Reverend Mr. The use of the three scaffold scenes throughout the course of the novel proved to be an effective method in proving this theory and showing how Puritan society differs from that of today? December 2017 The major theme of The Scarlet Letter is shaming and social stigmatizing, both Hester's public humiliation and Dimmesdale's private shame and fear of exposure. In the first scaffold scene Hester Prynne is depicted standing alone while clutching her baby. Set in 17th-century , during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of , who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of and. With Hawthorne's use of details and symbolism a moral message is portrayed to the reader. The scaffold symbolizes the shame and guilt of sin along with love and punishment. The final acknowledgment of that sin has freed her.
In the first scaffold scene, Hester Prynne is seen on the scaffold, holding Pearl in her arms, unwaveringly acknowledging her sin. And in the deep forest, where only the old trees can hear, and the strip of sky see it, he talks with thee, sitting on a heap of moss! In contrast to the first scaffold scene, the second one happened during the night, completely unseen by the other villagers. The first scene at the ominous platform is Hester's first public appearance with the child and the scarlet letter. Although all these locations are significant to the story, the most important symbol among them is certainly the scaffold in the market place, where the story begins and ends. The novel is based on repenting the sins of adultery.
Realizing that this is his last opportunity to confess before his death, Dimmesdale finds courage to perform this vital act, if for no other reason than to save his soul. Salem is my Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. A scaffold's effect on the novel can be seen through an examination of the first, second, and third scaffold scenes. Chillingworth wants no one to know that he was cheated. Again, we see Dimmesdale and Hester and Pearl , but this time, the lovers appeared to be both on the platform of shame. In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the scaffold was not only a place of shame, but it was where character 's social status rose and fell throughout the book. Although Dimmesdale makes progress towards repentance in this scene, when Pearl asks him to join her and Hester upon the scaffold publicly, Dimmesdale declines and tells her to wait until judgment day.
In this painting, The Scarlet Letter by , Hester Prynne and Pearl are in the foreground and Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth are in the background painting by , 1861. Literary Publishing in America: 1790—1850. Also, Chillingworth played the part as a stranger and asked another townsman who Hester was and what she had done. Furthermore, the scaffold reveals the development of the story and character involvement with the sin of adultery. The scaffold and those who stood upon it stood for truth, while those above them judged and those below gawked. It was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that it had all the effect of a last and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore; and which was of a splendor in accordance with the taste of the age, but greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony. She has been sentenced to the scaffold for three hours to face public condemnation.
I found them growing on a grave, which bore no tombstone, nor other memorial of the dead man, save these ugly weeds, that have taken upon themselves to keep him in remembrance. Hester agrees to Chillingworth's terms although she suspects she will regret it. It goes without explanation that Hawthorne purposely made the three scaffold scenes the most prominent and dramatic chapters in The Scarlet Letter, but they also unite the entire book together in more than one fashion. It is a symbol of his own guilt. In their absence, the story of the scarlet letter grows into a legend.
Their plans were never carried through because of another visit to - Setting is the time and location in which the story takes place. She begins to believe that a person's earthly sins do not necessarily condemn them. These three scaffold scenes display the rise of struggle, the flood tide, and the decision. Dimmsdale is also there but he does not stand with Hester on the scaffold, instead he stands on the balcony with those who pass judgment on her. Chillingworth pleads for this so that he can still torment the reverend.