Scarletletter Symbolism Essay, Research Paper
The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne uses many things for symbolism and in my opinion the most symbolic were the scaffold scenes. There are a total of three scaffold scenes and each has its own purpose and meaning. Without the scaffold scenes this book would basically leave you clueless to what was really going on because the scaffold scenes really tell you what is going on and why.
The first scaffold scene is basically an introduction to the whole book. You learn who all the main charters are and most of all Hester and her terrible crime she committed. This is the first time everyone sees Hester with the letter A on her bosom. Hester is a very brave woman for standing up on that scaffold in front of everyone in the town to gawk at and for admitting that she had committed adultery. Also, it takes a very courageous person to stick up for what they believe in like she did by not telling who she had committed the crime with.
The whole story builds you up to this point of finding out who Hester committed adultery with. By this point in the story you have some clue who the father of Pearl is but until you get to the second scaffold scene you don t know for sure. At the second scaffold scene Dimesdale is on the scaffold and Hester and Pearl come up and join him. Dimesdale is wearing down by the burden of his sin he committed. He goes to the scaffold to confess to God and ask for some kind of forgiveness. Then a cloud forms the letter A in the sky and everyone thinks this stands for angel because that s how they view Dimesdale. Then when Dimesdale goes to leave he leaves his glove on the scaffold to symbolize he was there and that he should have been up there with Hester and his daughter in the first place.
Then when you think everything is going to turn out okay and nothing bad is going to happen to Hester and Pearl, Dimesdale goes up on the scaffold. This worries Hester like it would anyone in her position. So Hester and Pearl join him again on the scaffold. Hester is wearing the Scarlet Letter like always and then Dimesdale shows his letter A that he inscribed over his heart. He has become very weak and his health just seems to diminish as he is standing on the scaffold. Then Pearl who has always seemed to resent her father goes over and gives him a kiss. At the end of the last scaffold scene Dimesdale just can t seem to live with his sin and dies.
The scaffold scenes are basically the introduction, climax and the conclusion of the story. Without these scenes the story would have no backbone. Throughout these scenes they symbolize many things from Pearl accepting Dimesdale as her father and Dimesdale confessing his sin.