There are three important scenes that take place on the scaffold. The first scene like the other scenes takes place in the center of town. Hester a young women who is holding her newborn daughter pearl makes her way to a scaffold, where she is to be publicly condemned for her sin of adultery. While she is up on the scaffold she sees her husband Chillingworth in the crowd and in disbelief she squeezes pearl tight to her making the baby cry. But instead of willingly standing on the scaffold with Hester he shows his moral degeneracy and lack of bravery and lets her stand up there alone.
Dimmesdale’s Progression through the Scaffold Scenes
Significance of the Three Scaffold Scenes in The Scarlet Letter
The Scaffold Scenes Essay In The Scarlet Letter, the three scaffold scenes are very important in advancing the action of the story and developing the characters. The scaffold is located in the middle of town and is where Hester is being punished for her sin. Dimmesdale hid his sin from the town, however his guilt led him to confess on the scaffold as Hester did. Through it all, the scaffold shapes both Hester and Dimmesdale as individuals. The novel is based on repenting the sins of adultery. The scaffold represents a place of shame and pity but also of final triumphs. Each scene illustrates the importance of the scaffold behind them with many potent similarities and differences.
The reason that Hester is not as guilty as Chillingworth is the fact that she openly exposed her sin with complete honesty and integrity, embracing the hate that people threw at her without trying to defend her sin. Dimmesdale, though keeping his sin buried within, still feels heart-wrenching guilt for his sin and even goes as far as to punish his own self with a whip in the dark of every night because he feels so awful for what he had done. Chillingsworth did none of these things, as he had no guilt for his vengeful sin and he did not expose it either. He dwelled deeply on his sin, embracing it as if it were an ally to him.
The scarlet letter was stitched onto the chest of every woman who commit adultery and was caught. It was like a warning to other woman not to commit adultery and it was a way to punish those who did. Dimmesdale may not have had to wear a scarlet letter on his chest or raise Pearl but he did have to deal with the guilt and shame every time he saw a scarlet letter.