The development of a tableau vivant is considered to be a challenging and rather captivating assignment. It “is a much more complex form of representation” (Voigts-Virshow 130), this is why it is very important to focus on details and evaluate each piece of the work that should be introduced by means of a tableau.
The Scarlet Letter is one of the amazing works created by Nathaniel Hawthorne where the themes of love, betrayal, passion, devotion, and care are introduced in various educative ways.
To create a tableau on this romance means to understand each character and to evaluate the emotions which are inherent to different people. In this paper, one of the first significant scenes, Hester’s appearance, will be evaluated as the first impressions are usually the most sincere and candid.
“When the young mother stood fully revealed before the crowd, her first impulse was to clasp the infant closely to her bosom – not from motherly affection, but so she might conceal something that was fastened onto her dress” (Hawthorne and Josephson 34). The choice of this scene has a number of powerful grounds.
On the one hand, it is a bit challenging to express the emotions and thoughts of the main characters in the chosen situation. On the other hand, it is possible to consider the feelings of several characters and define a true nature of a story and attitude of several characters at once.
It was the first time when the main character, Hester Prynne, appears on the public and demonstrates her sin. There are no men close to her at this moment, but still, she has a child in her hands.
Her eyes are full of fear and misunderstanding: why so many people, both men and women, cannot understand what has happened to her. She tries to hold her child as close to her chest as possible in order to hide the true reason of her shame. However, the evidence is clear: she has a scarlet letter on her chest, “A”. Now, it is her present and future.
Her past is somewhere behind, and she can do nothing to change the situation. To make the tableau more vivid and true, it is possible to use the figure of a minister who is also involved into the story. At the beginning, the reader cannot guess that the minister is the father of the child; however, it is necessary to underline his presence in Hester’s life.
Finally, it is possible to use the images of people who are very much alike because they introduce the crowd. Separately, the members of the crowd are weak because they cannot do anything in life; however, when they are together, they introduce a power that can rule other people’s lives like they have already predetermined the life of Hester.
In general, the tableau offered should consist of several people: Hester with a child, the minister who wants to hide his face, and several people from the crowd who want to blame the woman.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel and Josephson, Wayne. The Scarlett Letter. Charlottesville, VA: Readable Classics, 2009. Print.
Voigts-Virshow, Eckart. Janespotting and Beyond: British Heritage Retrovisions since the Mid-1990s. Tubingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 2004. Print.