Prompt: In chapter twelve we see events in the novel return to the scaffold—the very same scaffold where we first met Hester in chapters two and three. In a short (5 paragraph) essay, compare and contrast these two scaffold scenes.
Elements to include:
ò Character Motivation: What are Hester and Dimmesdale thinking or feeling during their respective time on the scaffold? What motivates each to stand there?
ò Setting: Yes, they are both at the scaffold, but what time of the year? What time of day? What is the weather in each event? Setting is so much more than place.
ò Theme: We have mentioned the idea of revealed versus secret sin; how does that factor into these scenes? Is Dimmesdale’s action a true penance or a “the mockery of penitence” (153)?
ò Symbolism: This can come from theme, from setting, or from the different manifestations of the letter “A.” Take into account things like the weather, day versus night, and character motivation.