The Scarlet Letter Chapter 3 Summary And Analysis
Hester catches sight of a somewhat deformed small man standing near the crowd. She fiercely clutches her baby to her bosom. Terror sticks the man upon recognizing Hester. He tries to inquire about Hester’s accusation as well as her sentence. When Hester declines to name the child’s father, this man becomes angry and swears that Her anonymous partner will be discovered.
Meanwhile, Reverend Dimmesdale is visibly agitated and begs Hester to reveal her lover. Reverend Wilson, on the other hand, harshly demands the revelation. Nevertheless, Hester adamantly refuses to name her partner. Reverent Mr. Wilson after that gives a long and boring sermon in which Hester constantly tries to calm down her crying baby, Pearl. After the sermon concludes, she is then led back to prison.
Chapter 3 Analysis
Chapter 3 physically introduces the other two major characters in the novel. The plot of the story also begins to thicken. The seemingly deformed short man refers to himself as Roger Chillingworth. The other character is Reverend Dimmesdale, who cajoles Hester to identify Pearl’s biological father.
In this section of the novel, Hawthorne seems to pay much attention to Chillingworth’s physical deformity. This is symbolic of his evil soul. His horror is likened to a snake twisting around his features. He is passionately consumed by feelings of wrath and revenge for Dimmesdale. The snake is also symbolic of carnal knowledge in the garden of Eden.
The one-paragraph speech Dimmesdale gives to Hester is a revelation of his character. It is laden with double-meanings. He was Hester’s lover and Pearl’s biological father but reprimanded her for not naming her partner. Dimmesdale also tries to plead with Hester to reveal the man since he is too ashamed to admit the truth. Therefore, Dimmesdale is admonishing Hester publicly, but deep down, he desires public repentance to attain salvation.