The Scarlet Letter List of Symbols

946 WordsDec 4, 20134 Pages
The Scarlet Letter List of Symbols Scaffold- The scaffold is a place where most of the important scenes in the Scarlet Letter take place. It was placed under Boston’s earliest church and was made of wood and iron. The scaffold is a place of shame and punishment for anyone in the community that commits a sin. It is the most public place in the Puritan society and used for torture of the sinners as they walk up the steps and stand there for hours at a time. In the beginning it is where Hester is placed to be publically humiliated in front of the people of Boston. She stood with Pearl while she was judged and singled out for her sin of adultery. This was part of her punishment, along with having to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her chest…show more content…
The people of Boston see Pearl as a work of the devil because she is the result of a sin. She constantly asks her mother why she has it and where she came from. Once she denies the Heavenly Father the church wants her to be put in a better family. She often questions Dimmesdale and puts her own pieces together of who he is and his relationship to her family. When she asks Dimmesdale to stand beside her on the scaffold with her mother he rejects it showing his failure to admit adultery. Along with the scarlet letter she is a physical reminder of Hester Prynne’s sin and this is how her sin was revealed. She is evidence of her misdemeanor and reminds Hester of her mistake every day. Hester is sometimes scared by Pearl because she sees a demon in her eyes and is different than other kids. Although Pearl was the consequence of her actions she is also looked at as a blessing. She gives Hester a reason to live and is also one of the reasons she gets to keep her when the Church is deciding whether she should be put in the hands of more honorable parents. Chillingworth also uses her to find any clues as to who her father would be because of any resemblance. In The Scarlet Letter she is more of a physical representation of her mother’s sin than an actually
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