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by resuming the three scenes in which the scaffold appears in the novel we can
resume the novel itself, it is not hard for us to jump into the conclusion that
this object has somewhat more of a purifying purpose than a humiliating one. As
Zuckert points out, Puritans believed that “human beings are indelibly flawed
by <>” (Zuckert, p.66) and therefore they looked into
ways of ruling civilians’ lives, reaching the point where they merged law and
religion in hope for a purification of both body and soul, aspect proven by
Hawthorne: “a people amongst whom religion and law were almost identical, and
in whose character both were so thoroughly interfused, that the mildest and
severest acts of public discipline were alike made venerable and awful.”
(Hawthorne, p. 76) The dialogue between certain unnamed women from the crowd
(dialogue preceding the scene in which Hester Prynne has to stay on the
scaffold with her baby in her arms) only comes to prove the statements
mentioned before since it shows the strictness of the laws and the fear that sinners
can amplify God’s wrath among their society, so in that case they need to show
no sympathy or mercy towards the wrongdoers: “This woman has brought shame upon
us all, and ought to die; Is there not law for it? Truly there is, both in the
Scripture and the statute-book.”(Hawthorne, p. 79)

starting from the idea that “all had to be publicly confessed and publicly
punished lest sin kept secret not only prevent the erring individual from truly
repenting and thus finding salvation, but also pollute the community” (Zuckert,
p. 67) the scaffold is fundamental

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Part 2

            Besides the fact that

representing of Puritan mentality, the Revenant Arthur Dimmesdale, fits
perfectly into the society painted by Hawthorne, since, as Zuckert points out,
Puritans “can hold themselves superior only through a certain hypocrisy”
(Zuckert, p. 68). Until his public mortification in the ending of the novel,

“Be not silent from any
mistaken pity and tenderness for him; for, believe me, Hester, though he were
to step down from a high place, and stand there beside thee, on thy pedestal of
shame, yet better were it so than to hide a guilty heart through life.”
(Hawthorne, p. 102) – he wishes she had the courage to confess in his place

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