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Word Count: 307
In the novel The Scarlet Letter Nathanial Hawthorne uses many double-sided symbols The scaffold is an important symbol appearing in three key scenes It epitomizes the three stages of the story as the second appearance of the scaffold is one of the many climaxes in the story Appearing in the first scaffold scene is Hester Prynne the main character of the novel She is alone with her young baby Pearl Hawthorne subtlely places the other major characters in the crowd This scaffold scene is important because it reflects the last scaffold scene The first public gathering around the scaffold is centered around Hester The last is centered around her lover Dimmesdale and his personal confession The second appearance has a deeper meaning than that of the first The scaffold symbolizes penitance and Gods platform on Judgement Day It reflects appearing before God in ones weakness With this comparison Dimmesdale has difficulty standing on the platform and confessing his sin Therefore he confesses in darkness so no one would see him as if he were hiding from God The last segment symbolizes the struggle that Hester and Dimmesdale have in confessing their sin In the second appearance of the scaffold they met in the night obscuring their sin in the shadows It represents their struggle between light and darkness In the beginning Hester had stood up for herself while Dimmesdale had represented the coward throughout the story till now But at last in the final scene Hester and Dimmesdale are in the light The confession gives him a sense of peace The scaffold is shown at the beginning and end of the novel A prominent event occurs at every appearance stressing its importance It has a powerful representation of the platform of Judgement Day and the struggle of mankind bearing their sin in front of God
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