The Scarlet Letter Essay, Research Paper
The three scaffold scenes bring great significance to the secret plan of the Scarlet Letter. The novel is based on atoning the wickednesss of criminal conversation. The scaffold represents a topographic point of shame and commiseration but besides of concluding victory. Each scene illustrates the importance of the scaffold behind them with many powerful similarities and differences.
In the first scaffold scene Hester Prynne is depicted standing entirely while seizing her babe. She has been sentenced to the scaffold for three hours to confront public disapprobation. In the Puritan society, where this novel is set, public shame is a beginning of amusement. On this juncture the townsfolk are present to watch the judgement of Hester. As the townsfolk are roasting her, the storyteller is praising Hester for her wild but lady like beauty ( 60-61 ) . The storyteller goes so far as to compare her to & # 8220 ; Divine Maternity & # 8221 ; or Mother Mary, the ideal adult female, the adult female that is looked extremely upon by the whole Puritan society ( 63 ) . However, the conditions are set up to demo the alteration in Hester due to isolation and disrepute of the Puritan society. Throughout this scene the Puritans are reprobating Hester for her wickedness as the storyteller is reprobating the Puritans for their badness.
Many old ages subsequently, in despair for a redress to bring around his anguished psyche, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale takes to the scaffold where Hester had one time suffered her shame. He is covetous of the public nature of her shame and hence he ascends the scaffold to squeal his wickedness, that he excessively, is guilty of the same iniquitous passion Hester was caught up in. Dimmesdale shriek in hurting and is fearful that the people of the town will wake up and come see him upon the platform. The storyteller tells us that the townsfolk took the calls alternatively for that of a enchantress ( 144 ) . This 2nd scaffold scene is somewhat different than the first. Most significantly, Dimmesdale chooses to expose his wickedness at dark when no 1 can see. Besides, the fact that he tells Pearl he will non keep her and her female parent & # 8217 ; s manus on the scaffold in daytime when everyone can see signifies that the curate still does non hold the bravery to take duty for his wickednesss. He has merely acknowledged his wickedness to God and that they will all stand together on judgement twenty-four hours ( 148-149 ) . On the platform his function is reversed. He is no longer the sullen and brokenhearted curate, but a dry adult male who laughs at everything that occurs on land degree. He is no longer the Christian curate, but the heathen whose shrieks were assumed to hold come from a enchantress and eventually, no 1 would believe that this church symbol, high with regard and virtuousness, would be in the same topographic point as Hester Prynne, the lowest adult female in town ( 147 ) .
& lt ;< br />
If anyone were to go through by the scaffold when the meteor shower lit up the dark sky they would hold seen the curate with his manus over his bosom, Hester Prynne with the missive blazing on her chest, and Pearl, the nexus between the two. Alternatively the lone perceiver happened to be Chillingworth who at this point already knows the truth ( 151 ) . The fact that none of the townspeople saw the curate at his minute of confession symbolizes that they don & # 8217 ; t suspect anything of their curate. Besides, the fact that Wilson walks by Dimmesdale without seeing him is another mark that the people can & # 8217 ; t conceive of their darling reverend being anyplace nigh iniquitous as Hester. The dark on the scaffold differs from individual to individual. Dimmesdale sees it as self-acknowledgment and purification. Pearl sees it as a demerit on Dimmesdale & # 8217 ; s portion since it is nighttime, and the Sexton, who found Dimmesdale & # 8217 ; s gloves on the scaffold saw it as a fast one by Satan to depress their curate ( 152-153 ) .
Near the terminal of the narrative Dimmesdale is giving his Election Day discourse. After the address he is in the emanation to the eventide banquet when he sees Hester and hesitates. As he turns to the scaffold he asks Hester and Pearl to fall in him. Chillingworth tries to halt him but Dimmesdale mounts the platform and begins his confession, calling himself & # 8220 ; the one evildoer of the universe & # 8221 ; ( 237 ) . Near the terminal he tears off his ministerial set to uncover his ain ruddy grade of shame ( 239 ) and with his confession completed Dimmesdale dies. Peoples who witnessed the 3rd scaffold scene do non hold upon what they saw subsequently on. Some say the grade came from his ain self-torment, and some believe it was from Chillingworth & # 8217 ; s toxicant thaumaturgy, or that Dimmesdale & # 8217 ; s interior compunction caused it, while others claim they saw nil at all ( 240 ) . The disclosure bestowed in this 3rd scaffold scene is that every adult male, no affair his position, can be guilty of the same wickedness as Hester. The last scaffold scene is the flood tide of the novel. All the characters that have been affected by the vermilion missive, Hester Prynn, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Pearl, are standing together on the platform before the populace ( 236 ) . This is where the storyteller gives Dimmesdale his ain voice, instead than giving a description of his addresss. When Dimmesdale confesses he is eventually allowed to stop his ain agony, to foil Chillingworth & # 8217 ; s program for retaliation and settle affairs with God and his parishioners. By taking powers within his ain custodies he manages to salvage himself and capture the Black Marias of the townfolk, which allow him to decease in the minute of his greatest glorification.
Henceforth, it is seen that the scaffold is a topographic point of shame and commiseration but ironically it ends up being the topographic point where a great victory has occurred.