In Chapter 22 of The Scarlet Letter, "The Procession," how is Dimmesdale different than ever before? What does Pearl want the minister to do? What three "secrets" does Mistress Hibbins reveal to...

In Chapter 22 of The Scarlet Letter, "The Procession," how is Dimmesdale different than ever before? What does Pearl want the minister to do? What three "secrets" does Mistress Hibbins reveal to Hester? And what message does the ship captain give Pearl to give to Hester? How do people in the crowd respond to Hester?

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Chapter 22 of The Scarlet Letter is set on Election Day, which is a very special day for the villagers. During this time, Reverend Dimmesdale is expected to give one of his powerful sermons, with special emphasis today, given the honorable nature of the festivities. 

After their conversation in the forest, Dimmesdale undergoes something supernatural that comes over him, sort of like a maleficent force, that makes him do crazy and bad things. This sudden outburst leaves Dimmesdale a changed man. He is so changed, indeed, that even Hester and Pearl could feel a totally different demeanor in the man when he walked in the procession shortly after. 

There was his body, moving onward, and with an unaccustomed force. But where was his mind? Far and deep in its own region, busying itself, with preternatural activity, to marshal a procession of stately thoughts that were soon to issue thence; and so he saw nothing, heard nothing, knew nothing, of what was around him....

Pearl, whose wise and old soul could sense this change, asks Hester whether this is the same man that would give them a kiss in the forest. She wonders, therefore, if he would dare to do that openly in the marketplace. Hester answers reproachfully as she, too, notices that something is just not right with this man. 

Mistress Hibbins basically taunts Hester, as she does with everyone else, about things that she claims to know, or says that she suspects. To Hester she says, namely, that she knows who is "the man in the forest" (Dimmesdale), that she knows that this man has changed for good from the meeting in the forest, and that she also suspects that he is the father of Pearl.

(The entire section contains 629 words.)

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