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Chapter 23 & 24 of The Scarlet Letter

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1 Chapter 23 & 24 of The Scarlet Letter
By: Jake Staires & Isacc Villafranco

2 Ch. 23 Summary Chapter 23 begins with Dimmesdale giving the town his sermon which includes his thoughts about the relationship of god and the communities that mankind holds. Shortly after the sermon he brings himself to the scaffold where immediate attention is drawn. Dimmesdale declares that god has led him there, he then calls himself “the one sinner of the world.” Being emotionally and physically weak while Hester helps him stand, he reveals he also has the Scarlet Letter A on his chest. Pearl finally gives him a kiss that was withheld for so long. With Chillingworth loosing his mind and the crowd in shock, Dimmesdale falls to the ground. He talks to Hester about the afterlife that will be for them. He then says goodbye to Hester and dies.

3 Ch. 24 Summary After Dimmesdale’s death there are many different opinions on what exactly happened right in front of their eyes. But most believe that in result from Chillingworth’s ways that is why Dimmesdale has the A. With no reason to live Chillingworth ends up dying a year after the dramatic event on the scaffold. Leaving Pearl with a great amount of inheritance. Oddly Pearl and Hester disappear and the story of the Scarlet Letter becomes a legend. Suddenly many years later Hester returns to her home. The A is still apart of her and it now stands that the A means respect. At this time people instead of avoiding Hester they want to seek her wisdom. Hester ends up dying and her grave is placed next to Dimmesdales but is separated a little farther than usual because “the dust of the two sleepers had no right to mingle, even in death.”

4 Theme One of the main themes in these two chapters is, to be honest, rather than hiding our worst traits and sins from the world.

5 Symbolism The A on Dimmesdale’s chest symbolizes that, though we may hide our sins as best we can, they will always surface and be revealed. Pearl is a living symbol because she is the physical product of Hester and Dimmesdale’s sin.

6 Character Analysis Hester: Throughout the book Hester is changed in many ways because of the situations she is put in by this time of the book she is strong willed and able to handle what she is dealt with. Pearl: In these two chapters Pearl makes an important but maybe late decision. While Dimmesdale is alive Pearl sort of neglects him. But she finally gives him a kiss after he revels his sin. Dimmesdale: At this point Dimmesdale is both physically and emotionally weak, that is why he decides to reveal his sin and literally get it off his chest. Chillingworth: Before Dimmesdale’s death, Chillingwoth is rather confident but when the dramatic event on the scaffold happens he changes. That is why he dies a year later with no object of malice.

7 Romantic and Puritan Ideas
By the end of the book Puritanism has been greatly disgraced obviously because of the decisions of the main characters in the book. Puritan ideas simply state that the symbol that is the scarlet letter means sin. One of the many ways someone could describe romanticism is that self-expression and individual creativity make someone. That is exactly what Dimmesdale does when he reveals the sign on his chest to the people of New England.

8 Literary Devices Irony: It is ironic that the A by the end of the book that Hester is wearing begins to stand for respect instead of what it is supposed to mean which is a type of sin. Metaphor: “Bellingham, for the last few moments, had kept an anxious eye upon him.” Rhetorical question: “Is not this better,” murmuerd he, “than what we dreamed of in the forest?” Irony: Puritan ideas pretty much kill Dimmesdale inside but when he shows romanticism he dies…

9 Quiz 1. What does Dimmesdale reveal to the crowd after his final sermon? 2. When Pearl sees Dimmesdale reveal his secret what does she do? 3. How does Chillingworth react to the action that Dimmesdale has taken? 4. What happens to Pearl when Chillingworth passes away? 5. Where is Hester’s grave placed?

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