The Scarlet Letter Scaffold Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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characters seem distanced from one another. In the second scene, Reverend Dimmesdale confesses his sin. He ventures to the scaffold, weak and grim, during the night. As Hester and Pearl make their way home from Governor Winthrop’s deathbed, Dimmesdale calls out to them. After coaxing the two on the scaffold with him, they form an “electric chain” by holding hands together. New life and energy rush through Rev. Dimmesdale during this bonding. Pearl, the symbol of love and the product of sin, connects Hester and the Reverend. Pearl realizes the truth about Dimmesdale when she asks him to stand with her and her mother at noontide the next day and he refuses by saying that he only will on judgement day. Hester changes because she sees what pain and suffering the Reverend

experiences and realizes that he too feels awful about the situation. When Mr. Chillingworth walks by the scaffold, Dimmesdale expresses his hatred toward the man. Hester feels bad for not telling Dimmesdale the truth about Chillingworth and his plan to ruin Dimmesdale’s life. Mr. Chillingworth changes because he realizes that Mr. Dimmesdale wants to confess his sin, therefore leaving Chillingworth with no mission in life. With his hand over his heart, Mr. Dimmesdale confesses his heaven-defying guilt and vain repentance to no one. A few people walked by him due to the location of the scaffold in the center of the town, but Hester, Pearl, and Chillingworth are the only people who see. Ironically, Dimmesdale feels somewhat relieved after his “confession.” When the sexton

tells Rev. Dimmesdale that the letter “A” flashed in the sky at night, stands for Angel, not Adultery, it makes the Reverend feel even worse about the situation. Since no one hears Rev. Dimesdale’s confession, he knows that he must climb the scaffold again to confess another time. The third scaffold scene occurs after the Reverend gives his electrifying Election Day sermon. With a death-like hue to his face, Rev. Dimmesdale climbs the scaffold for the last time with Hester and Pearl. With his hand gripping his heart, Dimmesdale uses all his strength to step away from Hester and Pearl’s support and confess his sin that he feels obligated to tell. When Dimmesdale tears off his ministerial band, for an instant he feels like he won a victory, but quickly he sinks upon the

scaffold. Before this scene, Hester plans on leaving aboard a Spanish ship with Pearl and the Reverend to start a new, happy life. When atop the scaffold, holding the dying minister, Hester only wishes to know if they will spend their eternal life together. Her hope for a new life dies with Rev. Dimmesdale. Above on the scaffold Pearl kisses the weak man to break the spell of her symbolizing sin. Pearl pledges to live as a strong woman in the world and not a battle in it. Mr. Chillingworth tries to stop Dimmesdale from climbing the scaffold and putting shame on himself. This is the only place in the world Dimmesdale can escape Chillingworth. After Dimmesdale confesses, Chillingworth possesses no mission or direction in his poor, miserable life and he dies. God, the angels, and

Satan know Dimmesdale’s secret, but not the townspeople. After telling the people, Dimmesdale knows that he can not live any longer. The Reverend, father, lover, and mentor passes away with a clean soul because he confessed. All major turning points and confessions center around the scaffold. This wooden symbol of sin and hatred is the most powerful landmark in the city. Located in the center of the city allows everyone a view of what occurs. From the first scaffold scene to the last, the townspeople always shun Hester and Pearl. Only at the end do they realize the identity of Hester’s sinful partner. The scaffold unites the novel because drastic changes occur there and the city as well as the book center around it.