The Scarlet Letter

Hester and Pearl join Dimmesdale . What is Hawthorne suggesting?

Chapter 12

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In Chapter Twelve, Pearl urges Dimmesdale to stand beside her and her mother at noontime the next day on the scaffold. Pearl senses that things have come to a head, that Dimmesdale will soon confess and that there will be a reckoning for him that will set them all free. Dimmesdale demurs, perhaps knowing that he cannot bear to make such a confession, and instead suggests that he and Hester will find freedom in the dark. It is then that the meteor streaks by, illuminating them in the whitest of light, foreshadowing Dimmesdale's revelation to the town and, more importantly, the absolution that will come with confession.