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Scarlet Letter Chapter 12 Summary


Dimmesdale goes to the scaffold and screeches. He expects the town to come rushing to see what the awful noise was, but to his advantage the people just dismissed it as the sound of a witch. Reverend Wilson passes by the scaffold and doesn’t notice Dimmesdale up there. Dimmesdale laughs at the thought of the public seeing him up there and he is replied to by the laugh of Pearl who is with Hester. Dimmesdale gets Hester and Pearl to join him on the scaffold. Once they are up there, Pearl requests that they do the same thing tomorrow at noon. Soon after her request, a meteor flashes through the sky and lights up an A in the sky above them. Pearl also notices that Chillingworth is watching them when the sky is illuminated. Pearl goes to whisper something in Dimmesdale’s ear, however she just begins to mumble and Dimmesdale believes that she is trying to make fun of him, but she defends herself by saying it is a result of him not wanting to stand with them on the scaffold at noon. Chillingworth approaches Dimmesdale and gets him down from the scaffold saying that he must have walked up there while he was sleeping and takes him home. The next day, Dimmesdale delivers a very powerful sermon and at it’s conclusion, one of the attendees presents Dimmesdale with his black glove that he found at the scaffold. He brushes it off as one of satan’s mischiefs. The people also discuss the A that they saw in the sky the previous night, but they connect it to a sign that Winthrop has became an angel.