The Importance of the Three Scaffold Scenes

Essay by roboden2004High School, 11th grade May 2004

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The three scaffold scenes represent the three main points of the scarlet letter. They each contain a great deal of significance to the characters involved and are a large

part of the plot of the novel. The book is broken down by these scenes into and

introduction, and climax, and a conclusion. Though the scaffold scenes are mainly of the

action and happenings of the novel, they also very greatly influential to the specific

development of the characters.

The First scaffold scene when Hester receives her punishment of standing on the

scaffold for all to see. The scene allows us to get to know Hester a little by going in to

her background through her daydreams. It also depicts the Puritan society and judgment.

Hester first attempts to hide the scarlet letter by pulling her baby, Pearl close to her chest,

but she quickly realizes that it is no use hiding one emblem of her sin with another.


new character is introduced in this scene, Roger Chillingworth, who is actually Hester's

husband. The first impression we receive of Chillingworth is utter disappointment in Hester for baring another man's child unlawfully. The scene ends with the older

reverend making a comment that Hester's baby wants to know who her father is, and with

Reverend Dimmesdale pressing Hester to reveal her lover but stopping as soon as she


By the climax, the next scaffold scene, the characters have all been well developed. This is the reason that this scene is so shocking. Dimmesdale mounts the scaffold at night and lets out a loud yelp. He is worried about the townspeople hearing him but if they did hear it they most likely thought it was the scream of a witch. Hester and Pearl see him and join him...