The Scarlet Letter    

 

 

A
at

a man

at

 a woman

 

adult= a grown up woman or a man, independent person taking responsibility, being in charge of himself or herself ('vuxen')

adults= more of the same, plural of adult, Swedish  'vuxna'

adultery= voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and any other than the lawful spouse

 


 

Aids to Reading The Scarlet Letter, the story by N. Hawthorne

   

Here are some questions on some of the chapters

 

Chapter 2

Why is Hester Prynne interesting?

How is the market-place arranged?

What is the market-place like?

What happens when /while Hester Prynne is in the market-place?

What does the scene look like?

How does Hester Prynne treat the infant?

 

Chapter 3

Describe the man who stood next to the Indian.

What happened to Hester?

Describe Governor Bellingham.

 

 

Chapter 5

Explain the following words:
annihilate, burden, compel, confinement, contagious, dwelling, dwell, enable, grief, honourable, ignominy,  inscrutable, marvelloous, invisible, ordeal, remoteness, reveal, Rocky Mountains, serpant

 

 

Chapter 6

Why was  the infant named "Pearl"?

In what way did Pearl turn out to be "strange" even at an early stage of her life?

What was Pearl's relation to the other children like?

Why did Hester never feel safe when Pearl was awake?

What did the rumors among the townspeople tell (say) about Pearl?

 

 

 

Chapter 7 - The Governor's Hall

Why is Hester going to the mansion?

How is Pearl described?

What happens when Hester and Pearl reach the town and meet the children of the Puritans?

What does the dwelling of Governor Bellingham look like?

How does Hester feel when she sees Pearl in the mirror?

 

 

 

Chapter 8 - The Elf-child and the Minister

Who is little Pearl?

What did Hester say to make the men change their minds about taking Pearl away from her?

Who is Mistress Hibbins?

What happened to her a few years later?

 

Chapter 10 - The Leech And His Patient

Describe Roger Chillingworth!

 

 

Chapter 10 - The Minister's Vigil

Why did Mr Dimmensdale go up the steps of the scaffold?

What is the scaffold used for?

What did Mr Dimmensdale do on the scaffold?

Why did Mr Dimmensdale want Hester and Pearl to join him on the scaffold?

How do you interpret the portent that was seen that night?

How did Mr Dimmensdale and the sexton interpret it?

 

Chapter 12

Explain the following words:
abase, ancient, badge, calamity, cherish, clergy, clergyman, concoct, embroidered, gleam, inclined, inmate, lunacy, mutual, reckon, requital, seclusion, strenuous, throb, verge

 

Chapter 15

What did Hester imagine would happen to Roger Chillingworth when he was gathering herbs?

How did Hester try to overcome her hate against Roger Chillingworth?

Did she succeed in doing so?

What had Pearl been doing when Hester had spoken to Roger Chillingworth?

How is Pearl's character described?

Chapter 16

Who is Pearl?

What did Pearl run away to catch?

What did the Black Man do with his pen?

Did Hester send away her child when the minister came?

Where did the minister hold his hand?

 

Chapter 17 - The Pastor and his Parishioner

Was Arthur Dimmesdale surprised when he saw Hester?

Why?

Why has none of them found peace?

Who was the enemy who dwelled with Arthur?

What relation did Hester have to this enemy?

What did Hester suggest Arthur Dimmesdale to do?

Why?

How did he reply to her suggestion?

 

 



Why do you think H. added the Custom house introduction ?

H. never explicitly states the significance of the letter A.
What different meanings does the letter assume ?

What role does Nature play in the story?

What does H's attitude towards it seem to be?

What was the attitude of the Puritans?


What effect does sin have upon Hester Prynne?


What effect does sin have upon Arthur Dimmesdale?

What is Chillingworth's basic sin?

What does he have in common with literary figures like Faust, Mephistopheles, Greek mythology's Hephaistos (Roman: Vulcan ), Satan ?

What is a leech?

How do you interpret Pearl's behavior? 

Does she seem to represent  morality, immorality, or amorality ? 

What if Pearl had never been born ?

How does H use the colors black and red ?

How does H use sunshine ?








TEACHER'S SAMPLE


Aids to reading The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne


Why do you think H. added the Custom house introduction?


To give the historical and trueful view of the Puritan era.


H. never explicitly states the significance of the letter A.

What different meanings does the letter assume?

ADULTERY or ARTHUR


What role does Nature play in the story?

What does H's attitude towards it seem to be?


Puritans followed only the laws of men
(they were absurd in relation to NATURE ).


What was the attitude of the Puritans?


What effect does sin have upon Hester Prynne?


What effect does sin have upon Arthur Dimmesdale?

They both consider God's opinion and Arthur D. in addition considers the Puritans' codes as well.



What is Chillingworth's basic sin?


Leaving his wife to go to the U.S. without following.


What does he have in common with literary figures like Faust, Mephistopheles, Greek mythology's Hephaistos (Roman: Vulcan), Satan?


Planning horrible revenge, worse even than death.


What is a leech ? Sw: 'blodigel

archaic: heal cure


How do you interpret Pearl's behavior? 
PURE 


Does she seem to represent morality, immorality, or amorality? 


What if Pearl had never been born?

How does H use the colors black and red?

Symbolic: Black = Evil

How does H use sunshine ?

As a smile from Heaven, Love





 


On Reading The Scarlet Letter 

Hints & questions by K. WRIGMAN