The first of the three scaffold scenes occurs near the beginning of the novel, before much is revealed about the four primary characters. Hester Prynne is forced to stand on the scaffold before the entire town. Here she proudly holds the symbol of her adultery, her daughter Pearl, in her arms. While it is difficult for Hester to endure the humility associated with standing so defenselessly on the scaffold, she completes the first step towards reaching her salvation. By this first scene she can no lo...
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...scene, but proves that he has not yet reached his ultimate goal of finding true salvation.
The letter “A” glows above the newly united characters in the sky, from the remains of a shooting star. This “A” appears only when the three of them join hands, symbolically connecting the “A” directly to all three characters at once. This connection further emphasizes Pearl’s importance during each of the scaffold scenes, because she is the living scarlet letter embodies all of its characteristics. (Not finished yet)
Since Pearl is symbolic of the scarlet letter and since the scarlet’s letter purpose is to allow for Hester’s penitence, it follows that Pearl is connected to the
The closing scaffold scene, symmetrically placed by Hawthorne in chapter twenty-three, duly symbolizes one of the most important steps in the path to salvation: public revelation and confession.
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