Scarlet Letter

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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The Scarlet Letter should not end at Chapter 23 because Chapter 24 is the conclusion. Some readers of The Scarlet Letter believe that the book really ends at the end of Chapter 23. It should definitely be included in the book. Chapter 24 lets you see how Hester's life goes after Dimmesdale's death, vaguely lets you see what happens to Pearl in the future, and shows Chillingworth's fate after Dimmesdale dies. If the book ended at Chapter 23, Hester"˜s and Pearl"˜s life would stop to our knowledge. The lack of knowledge would make the book incomplete. The book would have a story without an ending.

The book must tell how Hester's life goes after Chapter 23 because of its importance to the reader. It shows importance when the reader finds out that Hester disappears, presumably to Europe. One can see that Hester cannot stand being around this society any longer.

Also, another important fact is that Hester returns to her cottage and wears the Scarlet A once again. One has trouble finding out why she comes back, but it is important to the reader nonetheless. The final example of the importance of Hester's life is the details of her death. One learns that when Hester dies, she gets buried next to Dimmesdale and that a single gravestone marks their grave. The gravestone bears the inscription: "On a field, sable, the letter A, gules." The reader needs to know this information because it has important meanings to him or her. Hester is rejoined with Dimmesdale once again and they will no longer be judged by a harsh community.

The book should include Chapter 24 because of the hints of the rest of Pearl's life. The rest of Pearl's life is important to Chapter 24 because it also completes the book. It becomes known that Chillingworth leaves Pearl great wealth in his will. Also, one finds out that Hester has been seen embroidering baby garments. One then feels that Pearl has found a husband and has a child. One can then see that Pearl's life resembles one of a rich and happy wife and mother. The book must include Pearl's life because one needs to know the outcome of Dimmesdale's and Hester's ordeal: a happy and loving child.

Chillingworth's fate is important to Chapter 24 because one sees how he really leaches Dimmesdale. It becomes known that Chillingworth shrivels up and disappears. This fact has importance to the reader because one can see that Chillingworth is completely consumed by revenge and has no point to live after Dimmesdale's death. Chillingworth also leaves great wealth to Pearl which shows how he isn't mad at Hester or Pearl. He is completely caught up with revenge against Dimmesdale. All of these events help you to conclude Chillingworth's character. One concludes that Chillingworth has become a vengeful, obsessed man that only survived because of the pleasure that torturing Dimmesdale gave him.

Chapter 24 makes The Scarlet Letter complete. It concludes the book and sums up the main character's lives. If the reader didn't know of Hester's, Pearl's, and Chillingworth's life, they would not have the much needed knowledge that Chapter 24 gives. They would not know how Hester reacted to Dimmesdale's death, how Pearl turned out in the future, and what happens to Chillingworth. These facts are a major part of the book that complete the book and answer any questions. So, Chapter 24 should be included in The Scarlet Letter because its importance to the ending of the book becomes apparent