The Role of the Scaffold, “the Platform of Pillory”, in the Scarlett Letter and what it represented Thesis: The Scaffold was the platform of humiliation.
The Scarlet Letter is a novel that revolves around the repercussion of an adulterous encounter in Puritan Boston. It emerged that a young beautiful woman (Hester Prynne) bears child with a respected clergyman (Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale). According to the Puritan Code, this would lead to public condemnation and mockery hence the two “partners in sin” decline to proclaim their parenthood until immense pressure is piled. Hester’s punishment is to wear letter “A” and stand on a scaffold. This was viewed as the platform for pillory since it was characterized by confinement of the human head in tight grasp then the body displayed for public viewing. The scaffold scenes of the novel contain many symbols that are essential. First, the scaffold was a platform used for the execution of a criminal and a platform for forgiveness whenever they repented. Hester, for instance, was made to wear letter “A” on her bosom and stand on the scaffold in front of the whole town to see her and her child. By using the scaffold, the author portrays how significant the instrument is the society since Hester repented and was consequently forgiven whilst on it. On the other hand, Dimmesdale failed to get a pardon numerous times because he did not stand on the scaffold with Hester. Conversely, this changes at his death when he feels he can stand on the scaffold together with Hester and Pearl (their child). Another symbol that the scaffold represented is sin and rejection. It is observed that Hester must wear the letter of shame which identified her as an adulterer and portraying her as an outcast in the community. On the scaffold, she withstands the full glare of members of the community who watched with contempt. In addition, she is banished to live in the outskirts of the town with her child. The scaffold further demonstrates...
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