In what century is the story of Hester Prynne set? The seventeenth century
What does the prison door symbolize in Ch 1 of the Scarlet Letter? Harsh Puritan mentality that separates Hester from the world.
What is the irony of the scaffold scene in which Hester is forced to stand on the scaffold w/Pearl as a baby? Dimm. was questioning her about who the father is, but he is actually the father
What action is commonly made by Dimm throughout the novel? placing his hand over his heart
What does Pearl notice on her mother, even as a baby? The Scarlett Letter
According to The Scarlet Letter, new settlements must establish at the beginning of the colony a cemetery and a prison
Where does the story take place? A seventeenth century Boston colony
What one flower contracts with the somberness of the first scene? the rose
What is described as “the black flower of civilized society”? the prison
What is described as “a tale of human frailty and sorrow”? the flower picked from the bush
What does the rose symbolize? sweet moral bosom
What is the tone of this opening chapter? somber
In one or two words describe “The Puritan Character. solemn and severe
Who is Mistress Hibbins? a widow from a former magistrate
Why is the minister distressed? a misfortune has come upon his congregation
List five physical characteristics of Hester Tall,Dark and abundant hair,A rich complexion,Had a marked brow,Deep black eyes
Who is the stranger in town? Roger Chillngworth
Why is he accompanied by an Indian? he has been captured, the indians brought him there for selling
Why did Hester precede her husband in the New World? her husband had to take care of affairs back home
Who is John Wilson? the eldest clergy man of boston
List 2 qualities of Dimmesdale’s preaching manor. straight to the heart, simple
What is hinted about the scarlet letter as Hester returns to prison? it glowed
How long must Hester stand on the scaffold? three hours
Who is Master Brackett? the jailer
true or false: the Massechusetts magistrates show mercy in the sentence? true
Who is the false doctor? Roger Chillingworth
^ What does he vow to do? find hester’s lover
Why does Chillingworth take another name? so that people will not know that he is Hester’s husband
What does he make Hester promise? to keep his identity a secret
Why does Hester hesitate about taking the medicine? she thinks it might be poison
Where has Chillingworth recently learned secrets of folk medicine? the Indians
What happened when Chillingworth touches the scarlet letter? the letter burned Hester
who is the devil’s messenger? Chillingworth
Why is Pearl often called a precocious child? she is very, very smart for her age
Why does Hester go to the governor’s mansion? to bring him a pair of gloves that he ordered
What is Hester’s job? she is a seamstress
How is Pearl dressed when she goes to visit the Governors mansion? Red Tunic embroiled with gold thread
How does Pearl put to flight the taunting children? she stomped her foot and then ran at them
What “great lump of vegetables” is in the governor’s garden that symbolize New England? pumpkins
What magnifies the scarlet letter much to Pearl’s devilish delight? the breast plate of armor
Describe three features of the inside of the governor’s home large windows, oak furniture, stucco
Where do she and Pearl reside? a small cottage on the outskirts of town
What one dress is Hester never asked to make? wedding veils
In one or two words describe Hester’s relationship to society. shunned and isolated
What often happens to Hester in church? she is the topic of the sermons
Why does Hester remain in the colony? Pearl’s father was there, she thought she must live with her consequence
How do strangers react to the looks of the scarlet letter? all they do is stare
How does Hester react to the looks of strangers? she is ashamed, sees it as a heal that will not wound
What legend arises about the scarlet letter? that is glows at night and is more than just cloth
Why is Hester’s needle work highly respected? she has a great sense of style
Why does Hester name her daughter Pearl? she was her one “pearl” and happiness left in life
Name two characteristics of Pearl. energetic and graceful
What three men are with the governor in the garden? Rev. Wilson, Dimmesdale, Chillingworth
Why is there talk of taking Pearl from Hester People are afraid that Pearl is not growing up in the Christian way
How old is Pearl at this time of the Governer’s Hall visit? three
How has Dimmesdale changed physically since the early part of the story? he is thin, troubled looking
How does Dimmesdale help Hester at the Governors Hall? says Pearl should stay with her mother
What gestures of affection does Pearl make toward the minister? she laid her cheek against his hand
How does Chillingworth propose the identity of Pearl’s father be determined? keep a close eye on Pearl and Hester
What does Mr. Wilson reply to Chillingworth’s ides? they must leave the mystery to God
Who tempts Hester as she leaves the mansion? Mistress Hibbins
Roger Chillingworth’s appearance and actions lead many people to believe to associate him with what symbolic force? the devil
What is Hester’s reply to Mistress Hibbins? she must take care of pearl, will not join her in forest day
What are two signs of Dimmesdale’s failing health? he is thin and pale
In what capacity does Chillingworth associate himself with Dimmesdale? he is Dimmesdale’s medical advisor
Where does Chillingworth gather the “black weeds”? the graveyard
What does Pearl call Chillingworth? the black man
What does Chillingworth feel is the basis of Dimmesdale’s illness? unconfessed sin
What does Dimmesdale refuse to tell Chillingworth? his secret
What does Pearl throw at Dimmesdale? prickly burrs
Why are we not told what Chillingworth sees on Dimmesdale’s chest while he is sleeping? building up suspense
What is Chillingworth’s plan of revenge? to make Dimmesdale suffer
Cite two ways in which Dimmesdale punishes himself. he fasts and whips himself
What is the minister unable to escape in his thoughts and sleepless nights? his guilt
On what subject does he usually preach? sin
What does Dimmesdale speculate about grass growing on his grave? his gravesite will be cursed too
Explain the significance of the chapter’s title “the interior of the Heart” the pain within Dimmesdale’s heart is revealed
Where does Dimmesdale walk on this chilly May night? the scaffold
What does Dimmesdale do to expiate partially his guilt? he screams
What two people come to windows at the governor’s mansion? the governor and mistress Hibbing
Where is the Rev. Mr. Wilson coming from when he walks by the scaffold? the death chamber of governor Winthrop
What does Dimmesdale suddenly fear about the dawn? that people will come out of their house and see him on the scaffold
What doe Dimmesdale ask of Hester and Pearl? to stand there together
What are Hester and Pearl doing out this late at night? coming back from Governor w’s deathbed
What does Pearl want Dimmesdale to do during the following noon? to stand there so the whole town can see
How is Chillingworth described as he stands near the scaffold? he hides his face
What phenomenon lights up the sky? a meteor
Who takes Dimmesdale home? Chillingworth
Why does Pearl become angry with Dimmesdale? he won’t stand on the scaffold with her and Hester
What personal item of Dimmesdale’s does the sexton find on the scaffold? black glove
What portent does the sexton describe? the devil brought the glove to the scaffold; claims Dimmesdale does not need the glove because he is so pure
According to the sexton of what is the meteor a sign of? An A for angel
Who does Hester come upon in the woods? Chillingworth
How does she propose to save the minister? Hester decides to meet Chillingworth and discuss
Why has Hester become stronger in these seven years? she has built strength from the A. She is independent
Explain the statement: “The scarlet letter has not done its office”. The scarlet letter has failed to do its job, people have begun to accept her
What is the legend about the Indian arrow and the scarlet letter? the letter repelled an Indian arrow
As a result of Hester’s good works what has the scarlet letter A come to mean to many people? Able
How many years have passed since Pearl was born? (chp 13) seven
What has recently been discussed about Hester in the Council? whether or not Hester should be allowed to remove the A
What physical change in Chillingworth shocks Hester? he looks pure, pure evil
Of what evil intent toward Dimmesdale does Hester accuse Chillingworth? he is torturing himself very slowly
Why had Chillingworth keep Dimmesdale alive? so he will suffer
What does Chillingworth mean when he says”Let the black flower blossom as it may”? let the sin alone, it is your fate
What does Hester feel about Chillingworth as he departs from their encounter? she truly hates him
Why is Chillingworth gathering herbs? for medication
What symbol does Pearl make from seaweed? an A
What revealing gesture of the minister has Pearl connected with her mother’s wearing the scarlet letter? placing his hand over his heart
Where is the minister in the habit of walking? along the sure
Who is the “Apostle Eliot”? the first man to minister the Indians
About what common superstition has Pearl learned? the legend of a black man
Has Hester ever met the Black Man? yes
Why is Pearl’s life like the current of the brook? both the brook and Peal are mysterious and lively
Whom does Pearl mistake for the Black Man? Dimmesdale
New addition to Dimmesdale’s growing frailty he now walks with a cain
Where does the minister hold his hand? over his heart
Who is described as the “One worse than even the polluted priest”? Roger Chillingworth
What does Hester suggest Dimmesdale and she do? get away
What does Hester say about Dimmesdale’s atonement? the sins are repented for and behind him
How does Dimmesdale react to Hester’s hope and energy? he says that he is powerless
What does Hester say about the past? what’s done is done
Why is Dimmesdale unable to find immediate relief in Hester’s opinion? hester has forgiven herself while Dimmesdale will not
How does she demonstrate her rejection of the past? she takes off the A
When the scarlet letter is removed what change occurs in Hester? she feels free, born anew
What does the forest symbolize? a safe exclusion from everything…troubles of life
What does the sunshine symbolize? relief, a new beginning
Why does Pearl refuse to come to her mother? she does not recognize her mother without the A
How does the author personify the trees and the brook? the tree whispers, the brook babbles
How does the reflection in the brook change Pearl’s appearance? it is the perfect image of her, she is spiritualized
What does the brook symbolize? Pearl herself, and the boundary between the two worlds (being an she might not be)
What does Dimmesdale think about on his return to the village? how much he has changed
What opportunities are available for escape in the New World? they could live with Indians or other settlements
Why does the couple choose fleeing to England? England is more civilized, they can hide there
When will the next vessel sail again? 4 days
How is Hester acquainted with the captain of the vessel? they did charity work together
What does Dimmesdale do with the sermon he has already written? he threw it into the fire
How long does he spend writing the new one? all night
How does Hester dress for the holiday? her usual gray outfit
How does Pearl dress for the holiday? light, happy clothing
What does Pearl say about the minister? that he is a strange and sad man
What does the ship captain tell Hester That Chillingworth has requested to go on the journey to England
What is her response to this news? she appears calm
What traits does the author assign to the Puritan leaders? serious, self-reliant
What forces seems to motivate Dimmesdale? spiritual motivation
How does Hester phrase her doubts as Dimmesdale passes? she wonders if it were all a dream
What does Pearl almost do as Dimmesdale passes? run to give him a kiss
Why does Pearl hesitate when greeting Dimmesdale? she does not recognize Dimmesdale
What does Mistress Hibbins disclose to Hester? she knows about their secret relationship
What message does the ship captain ask Pearl to give her mother? Chillingworth wil bring Dimmesdale on the ship and not to worry
How do the Indians interpret Hester’s scarlet letter? high dignity
What is the subject of Dimmesdale’s sermon? the relationship between god and human communities
Who tries to help the frail minister? Reverend John Wilson
Why is the governor anxious about Dimmesdale? he looks awful, health is declining
Where does Dimmesdale ask Hester and Pearl to join him? on the scaffold
Who tries to stop Dimmesdale’s action? Chillingworth
What does Dimmesdale confess to the “people of New England”? that he is the father of pearl
What are Dimmesdale’s last words to Chillingworth? “May God forgive you, you have sinned too”
Why is Pearl’s “errand as a messenger of anguish” fulfilled? she finally kisses her father
What do some of the spectators see on Dimmesdale’s breast? an A
What is the fate of Roger Chillingworth? he died
To whom does he leave his estate? Pearl
Why does Hester return to New England? she could not get rid of her past
Where is Hester buried? by King’s Chapel
What object united the lovers in death? Scarlett A in a tombstone
When Hester stands on the scaffold she thinks of? her childhood
How long has Hester’s husband been away from her? 2 years
Dismesdale speaks to Hester during the 1st scaffold scene to convince her to identifies Pearl’s father
Pearl was an heiress to Chillingworth’s future
What is the symbolic meaning of Pearl’s name? of great price
Who has an affair with Hester? Reverend Dimmesdale
Does Hester seem to be showing off her scarlet letter by decorating it beautifully? yes
What kind of “bad” people end up on the scaffold, according to Hawthorne? criminals
After she spends money on Pearl’s clothes, on what does Hester spend her excess money? charity
To whom does the black glove belong? Dimmesdale
Describe Hester’s appearance, seven years later. she is harsh-looking
What is it that Hester would rather do than confess to Dimmesdale that Chillingworth is her husband? kill herself
What happens to Hester when she removes and throws down her scarlet letter? she becomes beautiful again
What is so odd about the fact that Mistress Hibbins begins a conversation with Hester in public? no one speaks to her in public
What is the occupation of the narrator of this story? customs officer
Where do Hester and Chillingworth live before coming to America? Amsterdam
What item in the governor’s mansion shows Hester a distorted reflection of herself? a suit of armor
In what city do Hester and Pearl live? Boston
How does Mistress Hibbins eventually die? she is executed publicly as a witch
next to whom is Hester buried? Dimmesdale
What natural phenomenon comes to symbolize both Dimmesdale’s “sin” and Governor Winthrop’s “virtue”? a meteor
How do Hester and Dimmesdale plan to escape their suffering? by boarding a ship for Europe
Where does the narrator first encounter Hester Prynne’s story? he finds a manuscript in the attic of the Salem-Custom house
Why does the narrator lose his job in the customhouse? a new custom-member present, who is from a different party, is elected
By punishing Hester with the Scarlett letter, the puritans are proclaiming its own smug self-rightenous
Chillingworth became the greatest sinner in violating the human heart because he single-mindidley was bent on personal revenge
Following an impressive meteor shower, the people of Boston see a symbol in the sky: a huge letter A. They interpret this A as standing for angel
Hawthorne suggests that the wild rosebush that grows outside the prison door is a symbol of natural, untamed beauty
When asked who created her, Pearl says it was the rose-bush outside the prison door
Author? Nathaniel Hawthorne
Narrator? The narrator is an unnamed customhouse surveyor who writes some two hundred years after the events he describes took place. He has much in common with Hawthorne but should not be taken as a direct mouthpiece for the author’s opinions.
Point of VIEW the narrator is omniscient, because he analyzes the characters and tells the story in a way that shows that he knows more about the characters than they know about themselves. Yet, he is also a subjective narrator, because he voices his own interpretations and opinions of things. He is clearly sympathetic to Hester and Dimmesdale.

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