Scaffold Symbolism In The Scarlet Letter

804 Words4 Pages
Matt Martin
Mr. Anderson
Honors English III
9 November 2017 Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a novel about Hester Prynne, a woman who commits adultery in a Puritan society, and how it affects her life. Hester not only scars her own life, but also Dimmesdale 's, who is one of the town 's ministers. Her husband has been gone for multiple years, so she expects he is dead and can love freely again. Her crime is discovered and she is nearly executed due to its extremity in the Puritan society. Hester is very lucky not to be executed for her crimes, instead, she is forced to go about life with an “A” on her chest, showing her crime so everyone can see. Throughout the book, there is a scaffold that shows shame and circles back to symbolizing purity in the Scarlet Letter. The scaffold is the center point in this Puritan society where criminals are to be punished and the whole town can attend. As Hester is called to the scaffold to be shamed for committing adultery immediately shows that the scaffold is a symbol of humility and public exposure. When Hester is forced to the scaffold the first time she gets emotionally berated for her sin as the scaffold starts defining who she is. She becomes unstable and afraid of what people think. She can’t try to defend herself as she has a chance to be killed for what she has done, so she takes the heat without letting anyone know who her spouse is. They said that she could take the
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