The Scarlet Letter

how does Hawthorne describe the setting in the opening chapter and what is the mood?

does it change during the end?

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The first chapter gives a description of the dark and gloomy nature of the prison that was established in the "vicinity of Cornhill" by the early settlers. The prison is described as an "ugly edifice" and "black flower of civilized society". Weeds grow in front of the gloomy structure, where a group of Puritans, dressed normally in their dull clothing, has gathered. The only positive image in the whole setting is a single rosebush that stands beside the weeds. It foreshadows that there will be some brightness amidst this "tale of human frailty and sorrow."

You know, I don't think much changes. Dimmesdale dies and Hester and Pearl leave. Things are still gloomy. Even Chillingworth dies and things are still gloom. You have to hand it to the Puritans, they were a gloomy bunch!