In Nathaniel Hawthorn ’ s The Scarlet Letter, the Puritans invariably look down upon evildoers like Hester Prynne, both literally and symbolically. The usage of the three scaffold scenes throughout the class of the novel proved to be an effectual method in turn outing this theory and demoing how Puritan society differs from that of today ’ s.
In the first scaffold scene, Hester is being led from the prison where she has spent the last few months, towards the scaffold seizing her newborn babe to her bosom, covering the vermilion letter-the two symbols stand foring truth and her lost artlessness. She stands on the scaffold, with the magistrates and curates standing above her on the dais, typifying that they will ever be closer to God than she will of all time be, nevertheless, the reader is incognizant that Hester ’ s curate, Arthur Dimmesdale, who besides stands above her on the dais, which is a spot of dramatic sarcasm, sing the fact that he is the male parent of the baby, and her confederate in her wickedness. Besides during this scene, the adult male the reader comes to cognize as Roger Chillingworth fells in the shadows, looking up at Hester, the evil already swelling within him, melanizing his psyche.
The events taking up to the following scaffold scene, some old ages subsequently, are some of the most important scenes in the full novel. The intervention of Dimmesdale by Chillingworth, who Dimmesdale had taken in as his doctor, plays a cardinal function, due to the fact that Chillingworth ’ s purposes are less than pure. Chillingworth is dead set on retaliation, and is willing to make anything necessary, even destroy another adult male ’ s life in order to comfort the barbarian animal within. However, deep inside Chillingworth ’ s psyche, he realizes that his hungriness for retaliation will ne’er melt, and one can get down to presume that like most scoundrels, Chillingworth wants to be caught. It is for this ground that he allows Hester to uncover his true individuality to Dimmesdale, even thought he realizes that it could be his death.
This new information is a daze to Dimmesdale, his physician, his friend ; his confidante was his enemy all along. Bent on retaliation and destructing him, Dimmesdale realizes that the “ Black Man ” has his psyche after all, and if he doesn ’ t submit to his will, his life and his repute will pay the monetary value
In a shock, confused and hurt, Dimmesdale wanders to the topographic point where seven old ages ago Hester had stood seizing their kid to her bosom, to the scaffold where he should hold stood beside her all Thursday ose old ages ago. While standing on the scaffold, his shirt unfastened uncovering his ain vermilion missive to the universe, he looked up at the dais where he had stood all those old ages ago and realizes the lip service of his past actions. He knew that he was no closer to God than Hester, if anything he was far lower than she was, for she had the bravery to acknowledge to her wickednesss and to accept her penalty and do the best of it.
The chief scene that led up to the 3rd scaffold scene is the brush in the wood between Hester and Dimmesdale. During this scene, the last few inside informations environing Hester ’ s state of affairs is revealed. While Pearl plays on the other side of the creek, dancing in the “ pure sunlight ” and delighting in world, while Hester and Dimmesdale are lost in their ain phantasy universe, woolgathering of a life where their common wickednesss will be forgotten. The chief subject of this scene is that wickedness can non be forgotten, but it must be forgiven through repentance and repentance. For while Hester remains in this fantasy universe, free and without suppressions and the rigorous ethical motives instilled by Puritan society, her girl Pearl ( truth ) will non return to her, because this universe that Hester has created is a prevarication.
In this concluding scaffold scene, Dimmesdale is fixing to do a address in award of the election of the new governor, this address, by Puritan criterions, marks the tallness of his calling. As Dimmesdale ascends towards the dais for the last clip he seems dying and aroused, ready to do his peace with God and present a powerful discourse. However, Dimmesdale realizes the lip service in his actions and as he descends from the dais, he is soundless and withdrawn, as if all the life and religion he had in the universe had been drained out of him. It is in this scene that Dimmesdale eventually recognizes Hester and Pearl publically, he takes them up upon the scaffold with him, and announces to the universe what he has done, and through this he feels that he has suffered plenty and that his scruples is clear, and with this he dies and goes to Heaven, a psyche that has been forgiven, go forthing Hester and Pearl entirely one time once more with their heartache, and their wickedness.
These three scaffold scenes display the rise of struggle, the flood tide, and the decision. All three tie together to demo a common subject, truth. The scaffold and those who stood upon it stood for truth, while those above them judged and those below gawked. It serves as an of import symbol throughout the fresh puting apart the evildoers and those who would judge them.