The first scaffold scene in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter takes place in the beginning of the novel. It’s noon on a June day in 1642. A large number of Puritans gather in Boston’s market-place around the scaffold. They have come to witness the public punishment of Hester Prynne, who has commited the sin of adultery. Hester emerges from the prison holding her three month old child and bearing a scarlet letter A
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showed last 75 words of 679 total
the platform of shame. All three of them stand among the Puritans’ confused stares. Arthur rips open his shirt and releases the sin that made him his own prisoner for so many years. Chillingworth kneels
beside Dimmesdale repeating “Thou hast escaped me” over and over. Pearl kisses her father and he dies. The silence in the crowd is lost and everyone has their own account of exactly what happened with their praised minister that day.