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Hester and Pearl watch as Dimmesdale and the magistrates walk past, and Hester feels a “dreary influence come over her”—foreshadowing Dimmesdale does not look at them—as if he doesn’t know them.

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Ch a pter 22: The Procession


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    1. Hester and Pearl watch as Dimmesdale and the magistrates walk past, and Hester feels a “dreary influence come over her”—foreshadowing Dimmesdale does not look at them—as if he doesn’t know them Hester starts to feel the weight of the scarlet letter on her bosom, again—even at “its final hour”—when she was to fling it off forever and live a new life with her family Hawthorne creates a great contrast between the minister and the wearer of the scarlet letter—even though they really are as one Chapter 22: The Procession

    2. Election Day Parade Who was marching? 1. Marching Band 2. Military Men 3. Government Officials 4. Church Officials (including Dimmesdale) SYMBOLISM • Dimmesdale looks great • Symbolically he does NOT have his hand over his heart, he is no longer hiding his sin

    3. Hester’s Anger • As Dimmesdale passes Hester and Pearl, he COMPLETELY IGNORES them • Hester is angry. • Pearl notices and makes it clear to Hester that he is not the same person he was in the forest. Pearl, AGAIN, is oddly intuitive and mature for her age. • Hester warns Pearl to be careful about being overheard

    4. Mistress Hibbins • Mistress Hibbins approaches Hester and Pearl and tells them she knows they were in the forest together • She also tells them she knows Dimmesdale is Pearl’s father • Ironically, the Puritans like Hester better than the Governor’s sister

    5. During the sermon… • Dimmesdale is in the church giving his sermon. • It is extremely crowded. • He is being praised by his parishioners. • Hester is outside the church, next to the scaffold • She can hear his sermon, but she cannot see him • She is being tormented by locals and visitors. • Pearl is wandering around the market place • The Puritans believe she is a demon • The Indians recognize that she is more wild than they are • The Sailors admire her and realize she is the most wild of them all

    6. Hester’s Torment 1. Newcomers have heard exaggerated rumors and stories about the Scarlet Letter. 2. Sailors know the letter is for adultery and they become vulgar to her and stare at her. 3. The Indians were intrigued and came and stared at her because they thought she was someone important in the Puritan society. Why? 4. The Puritans were the worst of all because their gaze had become so used to the sight of the ‘A’. IRONICALLY the Scarlet Letter hurt Hester more on Election Day than on the first day she wore it

    7. SYMBOLISM • The Captain of the ship attempts to capture Pearl (as she is described as a hummingbird) • She escapes from him, flitting about the market place. • And he tosses her his golden chain • Gold = Truth • She wraps the “truth” around her and looks wonderful

    8. More of Chillingworth’s Plan • The Ship’s Captain tells Hester that Chillingworth has informed him that he will be bringing Dimmesdale to the ship.

    9. Arthur Dimmesdale & Hester Prynne “The sainted minister in the church! The woman of the scarlet letter in the market-place! What imagination would have been irreverent enough to surmise that the same searching stigma was on them both!”

    10. Dimmesdale looks like he is near death; he knows it as well Passing through the scaffold—where Hester and Pearl have planted themselves as they watched the magistrates pass to the festival, Dimmesdale stops at their side Alas, doing what he should have done seven years ago, Dimmesdale decides to take his rightful place on the scaffold Chillingworth reacts quickly, grabs the minister’s arm, and questions whether it is really something the latter wants to do The scaffold is the only place where Dimmesdale could have escaped from Chillingworth—is it a place of punishment or redemption? Dimmesdale confesses and tears open his ministerial band to show his own “A”—carved in his flesh! Pearl’s tears broke the spell that she was born with; she would grow up to love and be loved—like a normal being Dimmesdale gives Hester no lie about their after-life Did he really love her? Or were they destined to go their separate ways at the moment of their adultery? Chapter 23: The Revelation

    11. Amazing Sermon • As Dimmesdale finishes his sermon, the audience is in awe; it is the most amazing sermon they have ever heard. • The parade leaves the church and is heading back through the market place. • Dimmesdale had a “death-like hue.”

    12. Wilson and Bellingham: SYMBOLISM • John Wilson tried to help Dimmesdale, he pushed him away, symbolically Dimmesdale was pushing aside the Puritan Church • Governor Bellingham tried to help Dimmesdale, but he pushed him away. Symbolically, Dimmesdale was pushing aside Puritan Law and Society.

    13. Dimmesdale Stops • Dimmesdale stops right in front of Hester and Pearl who are standing at the foot of the scaffold and asks them to join him on the scaffold • Pearl flew to him with bird-like motion and clasped her arms about his knees • Hester was afraid and although it was against her will, she knew it was fate and joined him

    14. Chillingworth • Chillingworth attempts to stop Dimmesdale. Why? • Dimmesdale acknowledges he loves Hester and Pearl is his daughter. • Dimmesdale tells Chillingworth his power is useless and with God’s help he will now escape. • Dimmesdale admits he should have confessed seven years earlier.

    15. On the Scaffold • Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale stand on the scaffold together. FINALLY! • Hester does not want Dimmesdale to confess; she knows he will die. She still wants them to escape to Europe together.

    16. Dimmesdale’s Confession “People of New England, Behold me here! The one sinner of the world! At last I stand upon the spot where seven years ago I should have stood, here, with this woman! You tormented her because of the Scarlet Letter, but the whole time I stood among you God knew! The Angels knew! The Devil knew! Now as I am dying I ask you to look at Hester’s scarlet letter and realize it is only a shadow of the one on my chest!

    17. After admitting his sin… • Dimmesdale rips open his shirt and reveals something on his chest that appalls the onlookers. • Dimmesdale collapses. • Dimmesdale forgives Chillingworth. • Pearl cries and her tears symbolically wash away the sin forever. • The spell was broken. • Dimmesdale tells Hester they will spend eternity together because of how they were punished during their lifetime. • Dimmesdale dies.

    18. Lots of satire in this chapter There are many “interpretations” as to the death of the revered minister Some believe that what was told to the reader actually happened Others believed that the scarlet letter had been a form of poison given to Dimmesdale by Chillingworth Yet others believed that the “A” grew “out” of Dimmesdale’s heart and guilt The ignorant ones claimed to never have seen the “A” at all, nor did they actually hear a confession; they agreed that the minister had claimed all those things to make a parable of his life! The leech had nothing left to leech on to, so he died within a year. (Without revenge, he had no reason to live) Ironically, Chillingworth bequeathed all of his treasures in both Worlds to little Pearl Hester is claimed to be the interest and love of an unknown inhabitant from another land Pearl is married and happy Why do you think Hester chose to go back to the little cottage and keep her “A” stitched to her clothing even after the death of Dimmesdale? In the end, a new grave was made next to an old sunken one—yet there was a space between the two, as if the two had no right to intermingle… Chapter 24: Conclusion

    19. After Chillingworth’s Death • Chillingworth left all of his money to Pearl • She is now the richest girl in all of Boston • All of sudden, the Puritans treat her differently, believing she would be a wonderful wife for their sons

    20. Hester & Pearl • Hester and Pearl left Boston • The story of the Scarlet Letter grew into a legend

    21. Years Later… • Hester returned to Boston • She was alone • She moved back into her Cottage in Limbo • She continued to wear the Scarlet Letter

    22. VISIONARY • Hester gave advice to women who visited her • Hester believed that someday men and women would be equal. • She also realized it would not happen during her lifetime.

    23. Many Years Later… • Hester died • She was buried next to Dimmesdale • They shared a common gravestone: “On a field sable, the letter A gules.” • Gules = red • Sable = very dark, almost black