Chapter 1 (choose 2 question)
1. What is the setting (time and place) of The Scarlet Letter? What can you predict about the novel from its setting?
The setting of The Scarlet Letter is in seventeenth-century Boston. From this era, one can predict that there will be conflicts concerning liberty and that the severity of the puritanswould be evident.
3. What is the mood (tone) of The Scarlet Letter? Cite examples from the text that allow you to determine the mood.
The mood of The Scarlet Letter is Gloomy and sad. “A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments and gray, steeple-crowned hats”. This quote from page 42 emphasizes the gloominess of the scene with it’s description of “sad-colored garments” and when the colorgray is mentioned.
Chapter 2 (choose 4)
1. For what sin is Hester Prynne condemned? Why is this a sin in this community?
Hester Prynne is condemned for adultery. This is a puritan community that is extremely strict. Adultery is simply not tolerated among these aggressive and fanatic puritans.
2. What is the public view of Hester’s sin as expressed by the women outside the prison? What dotheir comments suggest about this society?
Because the women outside the prison were insulting Hester, their view was quite obvious. The women’s aggressive comments and mannerisms suggest that this community is very strict and take Puritanism very seriously.
4. What is Hester’s attitude towards her sin and punishment?
Hester intends to hide her embarrassment. She tries to keep her pride and tostay strong.
5. One way Hester endures her punishment is by dreaming of her past. What does the flashback reveal about Hester’s past?
Apparently Hester is from a noble family and she seems to connect her past to a “scholar” whose name is not mentioned.
Chapter 3 (choose 3)
1. Who appears in the crowd as Hester stands on the scaffold? What is Hester’s reaction?
Hester’s husband appearsin the crowd. Hester is surprised at the sight of her husband who is supposed to be lost at sea.
2. Where has Chillingworth been? What motion does he make to Hester?
He has been held captive by the Indians and has just now come to Boston. He puts his finger over his lips to let her know that she should not reveal his identity.
3. Who is Dimmesdale? What appeal does he use to convince Hesterto reveal the baby’s father?
Dimmesdale is a young minister; he tells Hester that she should not protect the father’s identity because of tenderness or pitty.
Chapter 4 (choose 4)
1. Why does Hester fear Chillingworth? Do you think her fear is justified? Why?
Hester believes that Chillingworth watns revenge. Because he is her husband and she cheated on him, she believes that he wants topunish her just like the town does. I believe that her fear is completely justified. Revenge can be a dangerous thing, especially when it caused by a sin in such a religious community.
2. Explain Chillingworth’s attitude toward Hester? Cite examples from the text that reflect this attitude.
Chillingworth’s attitude is evil. Hester becomes afraid of her husband. “Thy acts are like mercy,” saidHester, bewildered and appalled. “But thy words interpret thee as a terror!” In this quote from page 68, his words are described as terrifying. He basically threatens her.
3. What does Chillingworth intend to do and why?
He wants to cure Hester of any and every illness so that she lives on with her stigma. He wants her to live her life in shame. That would be a sweat revenge for him. He also wantsto find the father of Hester’s child.
4. What does Chillingworth ask Hester to promise? Why does she agree?
He asks Hester to promise to keep his identity a secret. She agrees because she is scared. She is afraid of the consequences if she does not keep the promise. Hester does not want to put the father of her baby in danger either.
Chapter 5 (choose 5)
2. Give two reasons why Hester...