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In The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne uses three scenes on the scaffold to emphasize suffering and torment in Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale Throughout the book the scaffold has been the symbol of puritan societys harsh punishment for sinners The three scaffold scenes in The Scarlet Letter convey the theme of sin not being tolerated whatsoever in Puritan SocietyReverend Arthur Dimmesdale is tormented throughout the story and in all three scenes with the scaffold In the second scaffold scene Dimmesdale is overwhelmed with shame and stands where Hester Prynne had stood pg 139 He shrieks aloud pg 136 as he remembers the torture he had to endure during Hesters derision His lengthy torment of keeping his dark secret causes him a great deal of anguish His position as a minister entitles him to be a role model for the Christian faith but he feels unworthy because he is a sinner In the last scene Dimmesdale is so burdened with his heavy sin and miserable agony pg 230 that he at last confesses his sin to the world He is compelled to cease withholding his awful secret any longer from the dignified and venerable rulers his fellow ministers and his trusting congregation The last scaffold scene is Dimmesdales release of his burden which accumulates through the story Dimmesdales torture is stretched throughout the story in all three scaffold scenesAnother significant obstacle for Dimmesdale is to gain Pearls acceptance which is accomplished in the last scaffold scene The ministers final speech is at last delivered and pearl shows her acceptance when she kisses his lips pg 233 All other times that Dimmesdale seeks Pearls acceptance she replies with references to the scaffold further troubling him The minister trembles at the thought of what could happen if the public would find out his secret Pearl who never ceases to be cheerful is overjoyed in the last scene and her tears fall upon her fathers cheek pg 233 She
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