The Importance of the Scaffold-the Scarlet Letter

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In the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne a young lady by the name of Hester becomes the focus of the town after committing adultery. Throughout the novel the scaffold scene becomes repeated, making it clear to the reader that it is of great importance. Each scaffold scene foreshadows what will happen later in the novel. With the scaffold scenes, Nathaniel Hawthorne conveys the theme and helps the reader to have a better understanding of the novel. In chapter five-“The point which drew all eyes’, and, as it were, transfigured the wearer,” was the. “SCARLET LETTER, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated upon her bosom,”- Hester is brought onto the scaffold with her daughter Pearl. All of the leaders stand on the scaffold while the rest of the town stands below. Hawthorne does this to make it clear that the officials have the authority. Before, there was a group of women that thought Hester’s punishment was very lenient. Now that Hester stands before everyone, the sentence is not questioned. The leaders of the community then try to get Hester to say who her partner was. Hawthorne says without a doubt that both men are good but continues to say, “it would have been easy to select the same number of wise and virtuous persons, who should be less capable of sitting in judgment on an erring woman’s heart, and disentangling its mesh of good and evil, then the sages of rigid aspect towards whom Hester now turned her face.” Hester replied by saying, “that whatever sympathy she might expect lay in the larger and warmer heart of the multitude.” Hawthorne often makes reference about how the Puritans were not nice people. Hinting that the sympathy Hester expects will not be given. A few years later the author brings Hester back to the scaffold. This time, like before, Dimmesdale steps out onto the scaffold first in search of a confession for his sins. While doing this he sees Hester and Pearl walking down the street. They are asked to join Dimmesdale on...
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