Scarlet Letter Analysis
Form, Structure and Plot: The structure that Hawthorne puts the Scarlet Letter is very tight, and is in essentially three parts, each revolving around the scaffold. The first scaffold scene, Hester confesses her sin of adultery to the crowd in the light of day. The second scaffold scene takes place in the middle of the book at night; it is the climax of the plot. Dimmesdale climbs onto the scaffold, and asks for Hester and Pearl to join him. This is not a confession, as there are no witnesses, except for Chillington. The third scaffold scene is at the end of the novel. Here, Dimmesdale is on the scaffold, with Hester and Pearl. It is light out, and they are speaking to a crowd. Here, Dimmesdale confesses his sin.
The events are out of order chronologically. “The Customs House” is the first event to appear in the book, and it takes place after all the events in The Scarlet Letter. Hester has flashbacks. These let us see that she is a young woman. She remembers her early life with her family, and her honeymoon with her husband, Chillington. There is very minimal foreshadowing in the story. The one example may Dimmesdale’s plea on the scaffold for Hester to reveal the name of her lover. The climax of the novel finally sees him confess of his sin on the same scaffold of Hester. Syntax: The sentences in The Scarlet Letter are all very complex sentences. There are very few simple sentences. The sentences are all also very formal. There are many rhetorical questions asked- "And so it is!" said the child [Pearl]. "And, mother, he has his hand over his heart! Is it because, when the minister wrote his name in the book, the Black Man set his mark in that place? But why does he not wear it outside his bosom, as thou dost, mother?" (16.32).
Hawthorne tends to use more descriptive words. In syntax, there are primary and secondary structures. Primary structures usually consist of “an initial noun phrase, a very phrase, and a final noun phrase,”...
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