Mr. Dimmesdale In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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The illustration depicts Mr. Dimmesdale directly after he proclaims his sin to the town. The entire town is in disbelief, and Mr. Dimmesdale is now directing his message at his daughter, Pearl. He is asking her for a kiss, or in other words, her approval. The sun is shown in the corner of the page, illuminating the scaffold on which Mr. Dimmesdale stands. The sun represents the enlightenment that the townspeople have been granted through Mr. Dimmesdale’s confession, while Mr. Dimmesdale’s position on the scaffold represents his repentment for his sin. Mr. Dimmesdale is seen speaking “Dear little Pearl, wilt thou kiss me now” (Hawthorne 175). In this question, Mr. Dimmesdale is seeking confirmation that he has been forgiven. Pearl had previously been critical of Mr. Dimmesdale’s dishonesty. The clergyman not only wants the entire town to know his sin, he also wants Pearl to accept him despite his imperfections. For these reasons the concept word Acceptance is written next to the duo. To the right of the scaffold it states, “Pearl kissed his lips. A spell was broken” (Hawthorne 175). The action of Pearl kissing Mr. Dimmesdale is her way of acknowledging the significance of Mr. Dimmesdale’s proclamation of his sin. She would not come near him when she was in the forest, because she sensed his fraudulent character. She knew he was holding his…show more content…
Dimmesdale and Hester. The scaffold scene structure is thus used to demonstrate how the story is centered around this great sin. Even after Mr. Dimmesdale’s death and while Hester disappeared the scaffold still stood. Their sin would forever be a part of that town. In addition to unifying the plot events, the scaffold scene structure allows for a better understanding of Puritan culture. The scaffold was used for public humiliation, torture, and other punishments for sin. By repeatedly referencing the scaffold, the reader understands the degree of which Puritan society condemns
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