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What are the turning points in the story The Scarlett Letter?

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roby112509 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM via web

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What are the turning points in the story The Scarlett Letter?

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the-smart-boyz | Student , Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted September 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM (Answer #1)

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There are at least two points in The Scarlet Letter that could be identified as the book’s “climax.” The first is in Chapter 12, at the exact center of the book. As Dimmesdale watches a meteor trace a letter “A” in the sky, he confronts his role in Hester’s sin and realizes that he can no longer deny his deed and its consequences. The key characters confront one another when Hester and Pearl join Dimmesdale in an “electric chain” as he holds his vigil on the marketplace scaffold, the location of Hester’s original public shaming. Chillingworth appears in this scene as well.

The other climactic scene occurs in Chapter 23, at the end of the book. Here, the characters’ secrets are publicly exposed and their fates sealed. Dimmesdale, Hester, and Chillingworth not only acknowledge their secrets to themselves and to each other; they push these revelations to such extremes that they all must leave the community in one way or another.

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