With his family at his side, Dimmesdale finally confesses his sin and shows the scarlet "A" on his chest. He then dies peacefully. Hawthorne has perfectly structured The Scarlet Letter around three scaffold scenes. At the first one, located in the very beginning of the novel, Hester openly confesses her sin of adultery in the light of day while Dimmesdale and Chillingworth look on from the crowd that has gathered.
C: I am now totally and utterly convinced that Dimmesdale is Pearl’s father I/C: I think the vision shows that Dimmesdale also should be wearing the scarlet letter because he also harbors the sin of adultery C: I feel bad for Dimmesdale. This sin seems to be literally eating away at him I/C: I feel like his heart pains may have a connection to his sin and where the scarlet letter should be embroidered pg. 143 I: I think Dimmesdale is going to confess his sin Chapter 12-The Minister’s Vigil When Dimmesdale arrives at the scaffold where Hester had been humiliates years before, he screams out in pain but is ignored by the townspeople.
The main characters are present in these scenes and the main symbol, the scarlet letter. In the first scaffold scene, Hester Prynne stands at the scaffold holding her infant daughter pearl for public humiliation for her crime. She bears a scarlet “A” which stands for adultery on her chest. Reverend Wilson commends Hester to give the name of her lover. She is given the chance to “take the scarlet letter off [her] breast” (64).
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the scaffold serves to illustrate the dynamic change of Arthur Dimmesdale as he progresses from a coward to a Christ-figure. From the first scaffold scene to the last, Dimmesdale’s character evolves from being too feeble and full of guilt to confess his sin into not only keeping his secret in order to bring others to the faith, but also revealing his shameful fault in front of the whole town. The scaffold scenes assist in displaying the points in the novel when Dimmesdale’s character has significantly changed. The first scaffold scene comprises of Hester Prynne being publicly judged and shamed for her adultery. It is here that Dimmesdale is looking down on Hester from a higher platform, staying silent.
This offends the minister and claims he will confess to God and not to him. When Dimmesdale goes to sleep shortly after this encounter, Chillingworth opens his shirt only to find a scarlet letter “A”, similar to Hester’s carved on his chest. This tells everything Chillingworth needs to know as he discovers that Dimmesdale is former companion of his former wife, Hester Prynne. Now Chillingworth is capable of torturing Dimmesdale at will without the minister knowing that he has full knowledge of his sin.
Hawthorne states,” And there stood the minister, with his hand over his heart; and Hester Prynne, with the embroidered letter glimmering on her bosom; and little Pearl, herself a symbol, and the connecting link between those two”(103). They stood on the scaffold as if it was their chance to reveal all their secrets. Dimmesdale believes that their secrets were revealed and that as the sun comes up everyone who belongs together will be together. This scaffold scene is representing how the guilt of Dimmesdale's sin is burning inside of him and him not knowing what to
The first section of his excerpt explains Nider’s battle against heresy and shows his devotion to the cause. The second half of the excerpt is what draws the most attention. Nider elaborates on a very specific story about a man and his wife that are said to be involved with witchcraft. The husband and wife are arrested and placed into separate jails. In the excerpt, the man asks, “If I can obtain absolution for my sins, I will freely lay bare all I know about witchcraft, for I see that I have death to expect” (Excerpt “The Ant Hill, 1437).
Finally, he remembers the circumstances that surround his suicidal intentions and realizes that he is "banished from heaven"(9) and "without hope"(13) He runs to the man anyway and holds him "for nothing in [his] arms"(14) In order to understand James Wright's intentions in writing this poem, one must first have an understanding of the biblical story that it deals with. According to the Bible, "Satan entered Judas, who was numbered among the twelve [apostles]. So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray [Jesus] to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. Then he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them"(Luke 22.
At the end of the novel, Hester and Dimmesdale mount the pillory with Pearl together, where he reveals that he, too, has a scarlet "A" etched on his chest from remorse. However, this act of public repentance allows him to be free of the Satanic clutches of Chillingworth. Pearl, too, a child that barely seems human to others in the novel, reclaims her humanity by giving her real father a kiss and crying for the first time in the story. There are two main themes at work in the novel. The first is the conflict between romanticism and religion.
The historical context, psychological exploration of the characters, and realistic dialogue make this fictional novel more realistic. The symbolic representation of the scarlet letter, Pearl, and the settings along with the morals taught by the stories of the characters make the novel more insightful, symbolic, and allegorical. These aspects of The Scarlet Letter make the novel a brilliant combination of the literary devices of Realism, symbolism, and allegory, and fill the novel with profundity, suspense, romance, and tragedy.