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Test on The Scarlet Letter
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I. Identification. Choose four (4) of the following. Copy the underlined term to identify your choices. Briefly explain the symbolic significance. Complete sentences are not necessary.
- Hester’s name
- “ruined wall”
II. Quotations. Choose four (4) of the following and briefly comment on thesignificance of the passage. Copy the underlined passage to identify yourchoices.
- “It may be, that, when we forgot our God—when we violated our reverence each for the other’s soul—it was thenceforth vain to hope that we could meet hereafter, in an everlasting and pure reunion.”
- “That old man’s revenge has been blacker…. He has violated in cold blood, the sanctity of a human heart.”
- “A pure hand needs no glove to cover it.”
- “Much of the marble coldness … was to be attributed to the circumstances that her life had turned in great measure, from passion and feeling to thought.”
- “Ever and anon, too, there came a glare of red light out of his eyes; as if the old man’s soul were on fire, and kept on smouldering duskily within his breast, until, by some casual puff of passion, it was blown into a momentary flame.”
- “[S]he underwent an agony from every footstep of those that thronged to see her, as if her heart had been flung into the street for them all to spurn and trample upon.”
- “He now dug into the poor clergyman’s heart like a miner searching for gold; or, rather, like a sexton delving into a grave, possibly in quest of a jewel that had been buried on the dead man’s bosom.”
- “What we did had a consecration of its own.”
III. Essay. Discuss one of the following questions in a well-organized essay:
- Hawthorne was showing the moral and psychological results of sin. These include isolation and morbidity as well as a distortion of character. All of the three main characters are drastically changed as a result of sin. How is each affected by sin?
- Hawthorne uses both flower and weed imagery in the novel, specifically the red rose and “black flower” and a variety of weeds. Discuss what role these symbols play in the novel. With which characters are they associated? Why?
- Ambiguity often characterizes Hawthorne's work. What role does ambiguity play in The Scarlet Letter? Offer some examples as well as reasons for Hawthorne's use of this stylistic device.
About this Document
Test on The Scarlet Letter includes identification of symbols, quotations, and essay choices.