Scarlet Letter Analysis Form, Structure and Plot: The structure that Hawthorne puts the Scarlet Letter is very tight, and is in essentially three parts, each revolving around the scaffold. The first scaffold scene, Hester confesses her sin of adultery to the crowd in the light of day. The second scaffold scene takes place in the middle of the book at night; it is the climax of the plot. Dimmesdale climbs onto the scaffold, and asks for Hester and Pearl to join him. This is not a confession, as there are no witnesses, except for Chillington.
The third scaffold scene is at the end of the novel. Here, Dimmesdale is on the scaffold, with Hester and Pearl. It is light out, and they are speaking to a crowd. Here, Dimmesdale confesses his sin. The events are out of order chronologically. “The Customs House” is the first event to appear in the book, and it takes place after all the events in The Scarlet Letter. Hester has flashbacks. These let us see that she is a young woman. She remembers her early life with her family, and her honeymoon with her husband, Chillington. There is very minimal foreshadowing in the story.
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The one example may Dimmesdale’s plea on the scaffold for Hester to reveal the name of her lover. The climax of the novel finally sees him confess of his sin on the same scaffold of Hester. Syntax: The sentences in The Scarlet Letter are all very complex sentences. There are very few simple sentences. The sentences are all also very formal. There are many rhetorical questions asked- “And so it is! ” said the child [Pearl]. “And, mother, he has his hand over his heart! Is it because, when the minister wrote his name in the book, the Black Man set his mark in that place?
But why does he not wear it outside his bosom, as thou dost, mother? ” (16. 32). Hawthorne tends to use more descriptive words. In syntax, there are primary and secondary structures. Primary structures usually consist of “an initial noun phrase, a very phrase, and a final noun phrase,” while the secondary structure is everything else in the sentence. Secondary structure is used to make the language more vivid. “His face darkened with some powerful emotion, which, nevertheless, he instantaneously controlled by an effort of his will, that, save at a singly moment, its expression might have passed for almness. ” The majority of the sentence is secondary structure. There are two primary- “his face darkened” and “he controlled. ” The primary structure allows us to understand what is happening at the moment, while the secondary allows us to see an image of what Hawthorne was trying to get across- cynicism. With the first part of the sentence- “his face darkened with some powerful emotion”, he can imagine his expression growing into a scowl, the air around him darkening as he meets eyes with Hester. Tone: The tone in The Scarlet Letter is moralizing, impassioned, formal, and skeptical.
The narrator of the story pretends to be unbiased, although it is blatantly obvious he does not think highly of Puritans. He often spends one to two paragraphs discussing the problems he has with Puritan society, or a law that had effect at the time. Bibliography Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet letter. New York: Barnes & Noble Children’s Classics, 2001. Print. “SparkNotes: The Scarlet Letter: Context. ” SparkNotes: Today’s Most Popular Study Guides. N. p. , n. d. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. . “The Scarlet Letter Hypocrisy Quotes. ” Shmoop: Homework Help, Teacher Resources, Test Prep. N. p. , n. d. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. .