Advanced English 11
11 November 2013
Good vs. Evil
A beautiful woman is forced to stand on a scaffold in the center of the market place. The embroidered scarlet “A,” outlined in golden thread is stitched on her bosom, representing the same sin as the child that lies in her arms. Townspeople look at the woman in disgust as they pass, their eyes not leaving the letter on her chest. Her sin is adultery: an act of cheating during marriage. Both her husband and her lover stand in the crowd, observing the humiliation that this woman is forced through. Seven years later, the same women stands on the scaffold once again, this time, she is accompanied by her lover and seven year old child. It is no longer daylight and not too far away stands her husband in the spot of all the townspeople. The third and final scaffold scene takes place in daylight, once again in the market place. The woman is standing on the scaffold beside her child and dying lover. Once again, the husband is in the crowd, observing the situation. Each of the three scaffold scenes are demonstrated in the classic novel, The Scarlet Letter. During each scaffold scene, the main characters change, each going a separate direction. Throughout the course of the novel, the scaffold scenes mark the development of the main characters. Hester, the woman with the embroidered “A” on her bosom, slowly develops the acceptance of her sins throughout the course of the scaffold scenes. When first brought to the scaffold in chapter two, Hester’s “first impulse [is] to clasp the infant closely to her bosom; not so much be an impulse of motherly affection, as that she might thereby conceal a certain token, which was wrought or fastened into her dress (pg.50).” Hester is humiliated by the sin that is displayed on her chest in front of the townspeople, so she attempts to hide it in the best way possible. Unfortunately, the child is also a symbol of her sin, so by attempting to hide it, she is...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document