Three important scenes in the novel The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne are within chapters four, seventeen, and twenty three. Each chapter contains a scene where it develops the story through its rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. In chapter four, “The Interview”, Hester is currently behind bars and is then greeted by a physician, Roger Chillingworth, who is also her former husband as quoted, “Master Brackett, the jailer, thought fit to introduce a physician…His name was announced as Roger Chillingworth.” (Hawthorne 67-68). The scene further develops into the rising action of the novel as Hester denies Chillingworth’s offer of her a choice of saying that she sinned with Chillingworth and then they could just leave from there. She believes that the cup of medicine will poison her as vengeance from Chillingworth for sinning on him. The offering of the cup of medicine by Chillingworth is also symbolic here as it symbolizes Chillingworth’s attempt to keep Hester by his side by giving her medicine to help her. ““Here, woman! The child is yours –she is none of mine- neither will she recognize my voice or aspect as a father’s. Administer this draught, therefore, with thine own hand.” Hester repelled the offered medicine, at the same time gazing with strongly marked apprehension into his face.”” (Hawthorne 69)
When Hester denied Chillingworth’s cup of medicine, Chillingworth responds in a quick witted manner, “Dost thou know me so little, Hester Prynne? Are my purposes wont to be so shallow? Even if I imagine a scheme of vengeance, what could I do better for my object than to let thee live – than to give thee medicines against all harm and peril of life – so that this burning shame may still bl...
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... decides to further his punishment on them for “the law” they broke. Dimmesdale finally dies at the end of the scene. This shows the significance of this chapter as it creates the resolution of the novel, with Dimmesdale finally redeeming his holiness by confessing his sins to everyone in public.
These three scenes within chapters four, seventeen, and twenty three are important to The Scarlet Letter as each chapter adds onto the plot development of the novel, chapter four adding the rising action and conflicts of the novel, chapter seventeen adding more rising action and conflicts and reaching the climax of the novel, and chapter twenty three adding the falling action and resolution of the novel. Each of these chapters combined create the greatness of this novel, making each of these chapters extremely important and significant to the plot structure and development.
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