The the book progresses Dimmesdale is being

The the book progresses Dimmesdale is being

The Scaffold: Where Truth PreachesIn the novel The Scarlet Letter, there are three occasions when the scaffold is used as a location of truth telling. The Scaffold is set apart in the middle of town, and upon it criminals are convicted.

When the reader is first shown the scaffold in the novel, Hester is holding Pearl and she is being convicted of adultery, the second is when Dimmesdale goes upon the scaffold in the night and is joined by Hester and Pearl, and the third time is at the end when Dimmesdale, Hester, and Pearl all go up on the scaffold and Dimmesdale tells the towns people of his sin. Each time the scaffold comes into play, a little more of the truth is revealed to the reader and the people of the town. In the beginning of the book Hester Prynne is being convicted of adultery and is standing upon the scaffold with little Pearl in her arms. Chillingworth and Hester connect but Chillingworth’s identity is concealed and Dimmesdale is not known to be Hester’s lover. Hester is labeled with the scarlet letter for adultery and is basically shunned from society.

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In the first view of this scaffold, on Hester, is publicly marked with her sin while the other two are hidden.As the book progresses Dimmesdale is being tortured by Chillingworth and is driven pretty much to insanity. At this point the minister is so overwhelmed with grief that he feels he deserves to die, and wants to die, but he keeps existing like he is driven by pure guilt.

He finds it appropriate to go to the scaffold in the night and in a way confess his sins. While upon the scaffold Hester and Pearl see him and consequently join him. The three reminisce on the times and Pearl asks Dimmesdale if he will join them in town the next day with the promise that if he does, that she will tell him Chillingworth’s identity. When Dimmesdale refuses to join them, Pearl gets angry and doesn’t tell Chillingworth’s secret. Upon this second visit to the scaffold the reader is more clearly able to see Dimmesdale’s identity as Hester’s lover and the three of them along with their sins are exposed on the scaffold.

At the end of the book Dimmesdale delivers the best sermon of his life then soon afterward goes up the scaffold with Hester and Pearl. He then professes his sins as Hesters’s lover and in doing so rips open his garments to reveal the letter “A” marked into his chest. Here, Dimmesdale’s sin with Hester is finally revealed to the whole town. Now that his burden has been lifted, the minister feels liberated. He had been kept alive the last seven years for this one moment, and now the truth has set him free. He can then allow his destroyed body to die. At this, Roger Chillingworth cries out that Dimmesdale has escaped him, so he reveals his evil intentions.

Overall Dimmesdale, being on the scaffold helped the reader dig into his past, thus allowing us to see his need to be set free.

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