Hawthorne - Hester refuses to speak
The scene takes place around the town scaffold where Arthur Dimmesdale and Mr.Wilson stand. They try to persuade Hester, who is among the crowd around the scaffold, to reveal the name of her daughter’s father. Dimmesdale’ sentences have a double meaning and his words sound as if they were addressed to himself. He tells Hester it would be better to confess the name of the culprit than to have a heart marked by guilt forever. The crowd is touched and moved by the words of the Reverend and everyone expect Hester to finally reveal name of her lover but the woman still refuses to speak. Mr. Wilson tells Hester if she confesses the scarlet letter on her breast will be removed. But the woman has decides to wear it forever since, together with her daughter, it is a symbol of her refusal of her society’s obsession with guilt and sin. A voice coming from the crowd tells Hester to give her daughter a father. The woman recognizes her husband and replies her daughter will never have a earthly father; she will only have a heavenly one. Dimmesdale is tense, upset and stressed.As Mr. Wilson can see the woman is determined not to change her mind, he makes a speech about sin. Hester has tolerated all that nature can endure thanks to her moral strength.