Scarlet Letter And Scaffold
Scaffold "I am as content to die for Godís eternal truth on the scaffold as
in any other way (Bookshelf)," John Brown, a U.S. abolitionist in 1859, said
in a letter to his children on the eve of his execution. The scaffold is a
raised wooden framework or platform used for public speaking. It is similar to a
stage or a framework. A scaffold is also a platform used in the execution of
condemned prisoners, as by hanging or beheading. A scaffold can also be a raised
platform, seat or stand used for the purpose of exhibiting persons or actions to
the public view (Webster\'s). A scaffold, similar to a stage, platform or
framework, can be permanent. Other types of permanent scaffolds are used in
bridges. The basic beam bridge, a simple beam over a span, is strengthened by
adding support piers underneath and by reinforcing the structure with elaborate
scaffolding called a truss. This method of scaffolding is clearly apparent in
most present day bridges, but most travelers do not even realize this fact. The
scaffolding includes the huge poles or wires that sit on top of the bridge; this
suspension is an extremely advanced scaffold. This method is sometimes also used
in suspending a roof. Scaffolds, however, can also be temporary. A scaffold is
also a temporary platform, usually suspended on poles from below or suspended
from above, on which workers sit or stand during the erection, repairing or
decoration of a building. For instance, construction workers stand on scaffolds
when building a new structure. Scaffolding allows workers to transport
themselves and their materials up and down an unfinished building during
construction. Also, a person cleaning the windows of a building must use a
scaffold to reach all the windows above ground. Michelangelo used a scaffold to
paint the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome (Groiler\'s). He
worked on a scaffold sixty feet above ground, which covered 10,000 square feet
of surface. Another type of temporary scaffold is used in boating and fishing. A
flake is a scaffold lowered over the side of a ship to support workers or
caulkers when they are either fishing or drying the captured fish (Webster\'s).

The ancient Egyptians can be considered the first people to use temporary
scaffolding. The entrance to the Great Pyramid is fifty-five feet above ground
level. The entrance was intended for use only once, during King Khufuís
funeral (Groilerís). Special scaffolding was erected so the coffin could be
placed inside the pyramid. The scaffolding was then dismantled as a safety
measure against grave robbers. Scaffold can also be used as a verb. To scaffold
could mean to prop up. For instance, new titles may be scaffolded with laws.

That is, laws will support the titles. Another, every day, yet connotative, use
of the word scaffold would mean to execute. A person who is scaffolded is
executed. Scaffold usually denotes a negative, punishing aura when it is used as
a verb. As a verb, scaffold is not often used and is a word from early America.

Thus, the word can have many different meanings. The scaffold plays an important
denotative role in many books, movie and plays. One such book is The Scarlet

Letter. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a story of a young woman,

Hester Prynne, living in Puritan dominated Salem, Massachusetts, who commits
adultery. The man with whom she engages in the affair is one of the townís

Reverends, Mr. Dimmesdale. Hester and Dimmesdale have a baby, Pearl. Hesterís
husband, Roger Chillingworth, who was missing for two years, returns to find

Hester being punished for cheating on him. "Hester Prynne passed through this
portion of her ordeal, and came to a sort of scaffold (51)," Hawthorne tells
in the opening seen of the novel. In The Scarlet Letter, the scaffold acts as a
place for punishment. "This scaffold constituted a portion of a penal machine,
which now, for two or three generations past, has been merely historical and
traditionary among us, but was held, in the old time, to be as effectual an
agent in the promotion of good citizenship, as ever was the guillotine,"

Hawthorne states in explaining the scaffolds use. The scaffold had wooden steps
leading on to it. The steps of the scaffold became the walk of death for many
people before they were beheaded. A balcony or open gallery stood over the
platform and was attached to the meetinghouse. During Hesterís punishment, the
ministers and Governor sat in the gallery in order to question her. The scaffold
was located at the