What does this quote from Chapter 22 (XXII) The Procession mean?
Quote: "The sainted minister in the church! The woman of the scarlet letter in the marketplace! What imagination would have been irreverent enough to surmise that the same scorching stigma was on them both!"
In what sense is "the same scorching stigma on them both"? What is the difference of Hester's stigma from Dimmesdale's?
Even though their reputations are completely differ, Dimmesdale being revered as a saint and Hester being the town adulterer, their sin is the same. They both committed adultery, and they both let their passions led them where they should not have gone. The scorching stigma is the scarlet letter itself. Hawthorne makes many references to it being hot or burning, possibly referencing the flames of Hell or the purifying touch of fire. The difference between the two is that Hester's stigma is emblazoned on her chest, but Dimmesdale's his hidden from everyone except himself.