The Scarlet Letter And The Scaffold

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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Scarlet Letter Scaffold Scene In the Scarlet Letter, the author Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a scaffold as a main motif of the story. The symbol of the scaffold, like a literal scaffold, offers structure and provides balance to the story. The scaffold is used to support both the structural framework of the book, and the thematically aspects of the book. The scaffold is a symbol of the exposure of sin and guilt to the judgment of the townspeople, as well as to the judgment of God. This symbol is used to build the main theme of the story.

Hawthorne uses the scaffold to split the book up into three main sections: the introduction, the exposition, and the climax. The first of the three scaffold scenes occurs in the introduction of the book, giving the basic framework for the entire novel. The first scaffold scene is the basis for the reader's ideas about puritan society throughout the book.

It is also the main introduction of the four key characters of the book, giving us a basic understanding of their personalities. This is the first step in the author's use of the scaffold to provide structural stability for the book. The reader is given a basis of understanding and background about the novel on which to build on. The second scaffold scene is used in the middle of the book, and it is used to build the tension and complications up to the climax. By the second scene, the reader has had a good introduction to the characters in the book, and is ready to start realizing the changes the characters are going through. The second scene is mainly the support for the climax of the novel, and we begin to see the difficult complications that the protagonist (Dimmesdale) must overcome to win...

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