The Scarlet Letter

  • | 1 | On the Scaffold

  • Narrator

    It was a summer morning in the year 1642.

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  • In the small town of Boston, an angry crowd was gathering in front of a wooden building.

  • Its oak door was studded with iron spikes.

  • The building was a prison.

  • The people in the crowd were Puritans, people who followed a strict religious code.

  • The men had beards and wore dark clothes and tall gray hats.

  • The women wore white capsor cloaks with hoods.

  • Narrator

    Everyoneโ€™s eyes were glued to the door.

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  • They were waiting to see the prisoner, Hester Prynne.

  • One woman in the crowd said,

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    Crowd

    โ€œThe Reverend Dimmesdale is very upsetthat such a scandal has come upon his church.โ€

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    Crowd

    โ€œThe judges have shown too much mercy,โ€

  • Narrator

    said another woman.

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  • Profile Picture of Crowd in The Scarlet Letter

    Crowd

    โ€œWe women would not have been so easy.

  • At the very least, they should have put the brand of a hot iron on her forehead.

  • As it is, he can easily cover up the mark.

  • And then she can walk the streets as brave as ever.โ€

  • Narrator

    Yet another woman added in an angry voice,

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  • Profile Picture of Crowd in The Scarlet Letter

    Crowd

    โ€œWhy do we talk of marks and brands?