Scarlet Letter Literary Analysis

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Brian Bond Mr. Lightsey 10/28/12-per. 3 The Scarlet Letter Literary Analysis The definition of scaffold can be described as a platform used for the execution of a criminal. “It was, in short, the platform of the pillory; and above it rose the framework of that instrument of discipline, so fashioned as to confine the human head in its tight grasp, and thus hold it up to the public gaze” (Hawthorne 51). The scaffold, in this novel, is a platform used for redemption and a symbol of the stern Puritan code. Ironically, in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Puritan village should not need a scaffold because of faith and love. Hester is given the scarlet letter because of her disloyalty, but the letter represents much more than just adulterer. Through change, relationships, color, and imagery, one can see the hidden meanings behind the scarlet letter. The “A” on Hester’s chest represents the thought transformation her and the town undergo regarding what the scarlet letter can mean. Hester’s identity changes drastically from a symbol of sin to someone the town can trust. After being released from jail, Hester takes Pearl and lives in a cottage on the outskirts of town, becoming isolated from her community. In order to support both herself and her child, she begins to do needlework. Her work is fit for the governor and she is required to make christening gowns and the robes for high officials. “By degrees, nor very slowly, her handiwork became what would now be termed the fashion” (Hawthorne 94). Hester also makes garments for the poor, and reaches out to society and contributes however she can. Never the less, the people still shun her, refusing to acknowledge her existence and the wage of her sin. To the people of the town, Hester is “like a ghost that revisits the familiar fireside and can no longer make itself seen or felt” (Hawthorne 98). They ignore
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