The Scarlet Letter Ch. 1-3

What colony is the setting for the novel? Massachusetts
Where in the colony does the opening chapter take place? Outside the prison
What two possible symbols does the rose have for the reader? Forgiveness and hope
Name two crimes and the punishments that the puritans might witness Missing church on sabbath days, adultery, witches
Describe the Puritan women. The Puritan women are cruel and wicked.
What punishments would the Puritan women have given Hester Prynne if it were left to them? They would have branded or killed her.
Describe the appearance of Hester Prynne. Tall, thick dark hair, pretty, ladylike, holding a baby
What is Hester’s sin? What is her punishment? Adultery. To wear an “A” and to stand by the scaffold for 3 hours
What is astonishing about the “A” on her bodice? It is fancy and artistically done
Why is Hester taken to the scaffold in the market-place? It is part of her punishment.
What things does Hester think about while she is on the scaffold? Her past (parents, husband), and her faith
How old is her baby? 3 months
What detail is given to suggest the baby was born in jail? The baby blinked when it saw sunlight and the book says that it spent it’s entire life in jail.
Describe the man who is standing on the outskirts of the crowd. Small, intelligence, older, one shoulder was higher than the other.
What prior reference was made in Ch. 2 that reminds the reader of this man? Hester’s husband
What gesture does he make to Hester that suggests he knows her? He puts his finger to his lips.
What does the stranger learn from the townsman next to him? What Hester did and what her punishment is.
Who is the father of Hester’s baby? Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale
What is the usual punishment for adultery? Why is Hester’s punishment less server? Death. The townspeople want to know who the father is.
What are Hester’s feelings towards the stranger? She is scared of him.
Who is Bellingham? Who is John Wilson? Bellingham is the governor of Massachusetts. John Wilson is a reverend, and elder clergyman.
What do Bellingham and Wilson want Hester to do? Reveal the name of the father.
Describe Dimmesdale. Young, striking, white eyebrows, large brown eyes.
What is his relationship to Hester? What does he ask her to reveal? He is her minister and the father of her child. The name of the father.
Why won’t Hester name the child’s father? To keep him from punishment.
Abate Put an end to
Sojourn A temporary stay
Peradventure Perhaps
Albeit Although
Ferror Intensity of feeling or expression
Garb Clothing
Transgressor One who goes beyond the bounds of
Scaffold A wooden platform used for the public execution of criminals
Baggage A worthless or contemptible woman, prostitute
Beadle A minor parish official whose duties include ushering and preserving order at services and sometimes civil functions
Abashed To destroy the self-confidence of
Brazen Marked by contemptuous boldness
Iniquity Wickedness
Pillory A means to expose one to public scorn and humility
Flagrant Extremely or purposefully conspicuous usually because of uncommon objectionable or evil

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