Questions and Answers for The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter

In Chapter 11, "The Minister's Vigil," Dimmesdale does practice self-flagellation in which he essentially whips himself with a scourge: usually a handle to which is attached many small, leather...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2016 11:19 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

The first two things any community makes, according to the narrator of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, are a cemetery and a prison. This is an indication, of course, of two things that...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2013 12:04 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

In chapter 10 of The Scarlet Letter, "The Leech and his Patient", Chillingworth tries everything he can to extract from Reverend Dimmesdale the truth about the ailment that has been consuming him...

Latest answer posted November 23, 2015 12:45 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

Chillingworth, or Roger Prynne, enacts psychological warfare on Arthur Dimmesdale because he feels that Dimmesdale has cuckolded him. Chillingworth is jealous of the love that Hester has for...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2018 3:55 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

In Chapter XIV, a chapter in which Chillingworth and his wife, Hester Prynne, discuss the Reverend Dimmesdale, Hester's punishment, and Chillingworth's machinations, the narrator says, "In a word,...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2017 7:55 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

This quote reflects the heart of Arthur Dimmesdale, and it's important to back up a bit to see what else is going on in this section: On the third day from the present, he was to preach the...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2019 1:50 pm UTC

5 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

Chillingworth asks Hester to promise that she will never betray his identity to anyone. In the interest of fairness, since she has chosen to keep the name of her lover secret, Hester must likewise...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2016 4:17 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

Physically- In chapter 14, titled "Hester and the Physician" we find Hester and Chillingworth finally getting together up close and almost personal. It is here, when Hester has the best...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2015 1:05 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

As a final note marking Hester's grave, this line does indeed reveal the contrasts in the text and summarize the entire novel. In order to understand how, it is important to understand the meaning...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2013 12:56 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

Hester has become a real boon to her community: when someone is sick, Hester is there to help; when someone is in need, Hester provides. "None so ready as she to give of her little substance to...

Latest answer posted October 17, 2016 1:02 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

In Chapter Five, "Hester at Her Needle," the narrator tells us that, "Except for that small expenditure in the decoration of her infant, Hester bestowed all her superfluous means in charity, on...

Latest answer posted October 19, 2016 11:41 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Pearl is the daughter of Hester Prynne and a product of Hester's adulterous relationship with a minister, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester Prynne...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2015 9:52 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

You'll remember that in The Scarlet Letter, when Hester commits adultery, she refuses to name the father of her unborn child. It is Dimmesdale that argues, after Pearl's (the baby's) birth, that...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2010 11:21 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

In chapter 12 there is only one mention of Arthur Dimmesdale's chest, and it is after the meteor is witnessed by the villagers, when he stood at the scaffold with Pearl and Hester in what is...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2015 9:03 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

Toward the end of the novel, after Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale have determined to run away together, Hester sees Mistress Hibbins in town. Mistress Hibbins says a number of things that...

Latest answer posted December 5, 2017 12:19 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

Hester has convinced herself that she should remain in New England, despite all the bad things that have happened to her. After enduring the public shame and humiliation of being exposed as an...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2020 10:59 am UTC

5 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

In a rather ironic ending, Pearl, the "elf-child" becomes the most human in the final scaffold scene. Having inherited property from Chillingworth, she has become the "richest heiress of her day,...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2010 12:34 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

The incarnation of Hester Prynne's and Arthur Dimmesdale's sins of passion, Pearl stands more as a symbol than a character. She is a mixture of emotions, laughing at one moment, sullen at another....

Latest answer posted March 9, 2012 7:28 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

By the end of chapter 9, the narrator tells us that that people in Boston had begun to notice that Roger Chillingworth's face had changed dramatically since he came to town, but most especially...

Latest answer posted June 21, 2018 4:03 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

As Dimmesdale and Chillingworth are talking at a window of the home they share, Pearl sees the two men and says to her mother, Hester, Come away, mother! Come away, or yonder old Black Man will...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2018 7:08 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

Here are some more examples of figurative language: The Scarlet Letter Metaphor - Often Hawthorne compares happenings and objects to abstract qualities. In Chapter 1, the symbolic rosebush at the...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2014 9:53 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

The letter "A" in The Scarlet Letter is a symbol that is often debated in the literary world. Most readers feel that the "A" stands for adultery, and that was Hawthorne's intention when we wrote...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2015 1:24 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

The opening paragraph of the chapter provides a great place to begin to analyze mood: A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments, and gray, steeple-crowned hats [...] was assembled in front...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2016 12:08 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

In Chapter 12 of The Scarlet Letter, while Dimmesdale, Hester and Pearl are standing at night on the scaffold, Dimmesdale having asked the other two to join him there after the pain he bears made...

Latest answer posted July 21, 2010 5:09 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

He doesn't know for sure, at first. But as he spends more and more time with Dimmesdale, he notices symptoms that lead him to conclude that Dimmesdale is tortured with something. He is sickly; he...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2009 4:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

In The Scarlet Letter, one clue that may indicate that Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale is the father of Pearl is illustrated when Hester Prynne appears on the scaffold for the first time. She appears with...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2009 2:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

By Chapter 13, Roger Chillingworth's companionship of Mr. Dimmesdale has begun to take a serious toll on Dimmesdale. When Hester speaks with Dimmesdale, she is shocked by his weakness, and she...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2016 3:09 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

Hawthorne's ultimate message is that we are all sinners. Moreover, in the chapter entitled, "Conclusion," the narrator says, Among many morals which press upon us from the poor minister's...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2017 9:25 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

This quotation from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter occurs in chapter ten, when Hawthorne begins to give the reader a more in-depth look at the relationship between Roger Chillingworth and...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2013 7:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

There are two striking instances of the use of the phrase, 'black flower' in this novel. The first is in chapter 1, when the narrator refers to the prison where Hester has been incarcerated, as...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2013 10:13 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

It is true that "The Custom House" is an autobiographical short story in itself, where Hawthorne looks back in time and narrates some of his memories. However, this introduction adds substance to...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2012 6:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

The great paradox of Dimmesdale's death is found in the way in which he interprets what his life has been, and what his death will be now that it is so near. Dimmesdale thinks that God has shown...

Latest answer posted May 19, 2013 10:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

When the cold, sinister, and aptly named Chillingworth, Hester's husband, arrives and finds her in disgrace as an adulteress, he says: Thou and thine, Hester Prynne, belong to me. My home is where...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2019 12:33 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, the forest surrounding the Puritan settlement represents two opposing forces: evil that seeks to steal the soul and freedom that liberates the...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2019 4:08 am UTC

4 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

Chillingworth dies shortly after Dimmesdale passes away. Though one might assume Chillingworth would be happy that the man who helped cuckold him is dead, this is not the case. Chillingworth wanted...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2018 3:53 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

The Rosebush is definitely worth a closer look. Note also where it grows: next to the prison. It symbolizes nature's endurance and impartiality in contrast to human affairs. In a narrative that has...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2009 8:10 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

When the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale steps onto the scaffold in Chapter XXIII of The Scarlet Letter, he invites Hester and Pearl finally to join him, and Pearl cannot accuse him this time of being...

Latest answer posted October 31, 2012 6:47 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

Hawthorne says, “The scarlet letter had not done it office,” meaning that it had not done its job in at least two ways. On the part of the community, quite the contrary happened, Hester Prynne had...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2015 4:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

There is another instrument of torture that should be mentioned as well: Dimmesdale's "bloody scourge." There is quite a large section of the text that deals with Dimmesdale's scourge. Let's...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2011 2:31 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

The novel The Scarlet Letter is set in the theocratic and patriarchal Puritan society of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The year is 1642, which means that this particular group of colonists settled...

Latest answer posted January 3, 2016 7:02 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

When the minister asks Pearl who made her, Pearl doesn't want to tell him at first. She knows what her mother has told her -- that she was a child of God and that God had made her. But for...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2010 5:45 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

Hester's punishment was to spend a little time in jail; she is released three months after the birth of her child, the child her Puritan community believes was conceived in sin since Hester's...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2016 2:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter is a strongly allegorical work. Hawthorne uses the setting, the "Custom House" introduction, and the red A of the title as allegorical representations of larger, more complex...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2017 7:05 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

According to chapter 11, "The Interior of a Heart," Dimmesdale was more than once in want of telling the congregation that he was, indeed, a hypocrite. In a lighter view of Dimmesdale, he is...

Latest answer posted October 29, 2015 8:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

Hester's flashback from atop the scaffold is credited to her superior memory, which was, as the narrator says, "preternaturally active." She remembers all kinds of scenes from her childhood: being...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2017 11:42 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

A preternatural creature that is given to mischievous, capricious acts, an elf is a fitting description for Pearl, "the scarlet letter endowed with life." For, as the incarnation of Hester's sin,...

Latest answer posted November 24, 2012 9:34 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

The significance of the title of The Scarlet Letter is that it is the symbol that Hester Prynne is ordered to wear on her chest prominently to show the world that she is a sinner. The letter itself...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2020 3:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

Hawthorne seems, largely, to sympathize with Hester Prynne. He is incredibly critical of the Puritans, calling the women ugly and characterizing them as "self-constituted judges" that mercilessly...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2017 7:49 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Scarlet Letter

On this chapter, Hester and the Physician, Hester was out in the seaside when she finally meets Chillingworth, and dares to confront him about his treatment of Dimmesdale. She requested him that,...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2010 5:36 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne's quote is as follows: “Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred!” At the root of this...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2012 11:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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