The Sccaffold Scenes In The Scarlet Letter

927 Words4 Pages
When the romantic novel begins in Boston, Massachusetts, Dimmesdale, a local minister, stands with one hand over his heart in shame. Hester’s unknown partner, Dimmesdale, keeps his identity secret, afraid of disgrace to his holy name. As he watches Hester Prynne, former lover, suffer on the scaffold, he suffers himself. The scaffold is a raised platform, placed in the center of the town, for public humiliation. Hester, a known perpetrator for adultery, has the punishment of jail time, scaffold humiliation, and the wearing of the “A” embroidered on her clothing. Although these seem like terrible punishments for what seems like a not so terrible crime, these are far better than the original punishment for this crime of adultery, death. Despite her situation, Hester stands proud with her daughter in her arms. Hawthorne reveals numerous emotions throughout the three scaffold scenes to invite the reader to look at the text from different perspectives (Swisher). As the novel progresses, each scaffold scene is manipulated to show the different factors chosen to set the scene. Sunlight and darkness are used by Hawthorne to create the tone of the novel (Swisher). The “A” stands for pride, embarrassment, and shame (Swisher). Finally, the relationships between main characters change during the entirety of the novel to show how they develop as characters dealing with the situation presented (Swisher). Throughout the three scaffold scenes, Hawthorne emphasizes public humiliation,

More about The Sccaffold Scenes In The Scarlet Letter

Get Access