The Scarlet Letter, chapter 2 Flashcard Example #68651

What colony is the setting for the novel?
Boston, New England
Where does the first chapter take place?
At the prison door
Describe the Puritan women. Use one quote from the text to support your answer.
see p. 3, ll. 21-29 – p. 4, ll. 1-8
Describe Hester Prynne’s first actions
When the town beadle processionsleder pushed Hester forward, out of the prison “she repelled him, by an action marked with natural dignity and force of character, and stepped into the open air, as if by her own free-will.” (p. 4, ll. 38-40).
Then Hester “clasp(ed) the infant closely to her bosom; not so much by an impulse of motherly affection …. In a moment, she took the baby on her arm, and, with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbors.” (p. 4, ll. 45-49)
What do these actions and this appearance reveal about her character?
Hester seems dignified, almost proud, and not shameful. She is calm and comes across as feeling superior to the situation (and the townsmen and -women)?
What punishments would the Puritan women have given Hester Prynne if it were left to them?
Ironbranding on forehead (p. 4, l. 18)
What is Hester Prynne’s sin?
What is Hester Prynne’s punishment?
Public condemnation and disgrace by wearing a scarlet letter, humiliation on the scaffold, and temporary jail time
What is astonishing about the “A” on her bodice?
It was elaborately embroidered and stood out with its red cloth with gold thread (p. 4, l. 48 – p. 5, l. 1)
What does Hester think about while she is on the scaffold in the market-place?
Past memories; e.g. her childhood, youth and school days, sports, childish quarrels, parents etc. (p. 7, ll. 9-49)
How old is her baby?
3 months old (p. 4, l. 40)
What detail is given to suggest the baby was born in jail?
It had “acquainted only with the gray twilight of a dungeon, or other darksome apartment of the prison” (p. 4, ll. 41-42)

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