The Scarlet Letter Characters Flashcard Example #20049

Roger Chillingworth
Hester’s husband, demon, gradually destroys himself in lust and revenge, mean, cruel man.,

Hester’s husband from the Netherlands; arrives in Boston on the day that Hester is publicly shamed and forced to wear the scarlet letter. He vows revenge on the father of Pearl, and he soon moves in with Arthur Dimmesdale, who he knows has committed adultery with his wife. His revenge is frustrated at the end of the novel, when Dimmesdale reveals that he is Pearl’s father before dying. This character, having lost the object of his hatred, dies soon thereafter.

Hester Prynne
Appoints herself a sister of mercy
Strong woman with independent mind, brave and defiant, mother of Pearl, lover of Rev. Dimmesdale.

In the Scarlet Letter, Very beautiful; youthful looking with dark hair and eyes; “feminine” according to the time: air of dignity, not grace or eloquence; after receives the scarlet letter and hides hair from the world she loses this air, youthfulness and beauty. Very passionate.

“A beautiful puritan woman full of strong passions, _________________ is the main character in the story. Employed as the village seamstress, she is strong and caring, helping anyone she can when he or she are in need. With a penitent heart, she travels through the story becoming only a shadow of her former passionate loving self. Other than the scarlet letter, she was a very moral woman whose only joy in life was her daughter Pearl. “

Hester Prynne
– must wear the scarlet letter A on her body as punishment for her adulterous affair with Arthur Dimmesdale
– married to Roger Chillingworth, but while she awaited her husband’s arrival from Amsterdam, Netherlands, she met Dimmesdale and engaged in the adulterous affair, which led to Pearl’s birth.
– passionate, strong; speculates about human nature, social organization, and larger moral questions
Arthur Dimmesdale
– young, handsome pastor residing in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and hides a dark secret
– a scholar from Oxford University who achieved fame in England as a theologian and then emigrated to America. In a moment of weakness, he and Hester became lovers. Although he will not confess it publicly, he is the father of her child. He deals with his guilt by tormenting himself physically and psychologically, developing a heart condition as a result.
– an intelligent and emotional man, and his sermons are thus masterpieces of eloquence and persuasiveness. His commitments to his congregation are in constant conflict with his feelings of sinfulness and need to confess.
General Miller
– oldest inhabitant of the Customs House.
-holds independent position of Collector, which allows him to avoid the politicized shuffling of positions.
– protects the other men from being fired, which is why many of the employees are old.
Governor Bellingham
– a wealthy, elderly gentleman who spends much of his time consulting with the other town fathers.
– resembles a traditional English aristocrat.
– strictly adhere to the rules, but he is easily swayed by Dimmesdale’s eloquence.
– remains blind to the misbehaviors taking place in his own house: his sister, Mistress Hibbins, is a witch.
-governor of the town, tries to take Pear; from Hester but Dimmesdale convinces him not to, present at Hester’s punishment
– hypocritical old man; follows strictly by the rules except in matters involving his sister
– patriarch of the Customs House. His father created the post for him, and he has retained it ever since.
– considered one of the happiest workers, likely because he knows he will never be removed from his post.
John Wilson
– eldest clergy man in Boston, friend of Arthur Dimmesdale – uses mob mentality to persuade the multitude to criticize Hester once more and look upon her with pity/sympathy
– stereotypical Puritan father, a literary version of the stiff, starkly painted portraits of American patriarchs.
– Like Governor Bellingham, he follows the community’s rules strictly but can be swayed by Dimmesdale’s eloquence.
– Unlike Dimmesdale, his junior colleague, he preaches hellfire and damnation and advocates harsh punishment of sinners
Jonathan Pue
– ancient surveyor of the Customs House. Hawthorne, as narrator, claims to have found a package with this name on it, containing the story of the novel.
Mistress Hibbins
– the sister of Governor Bellingham/lives with him as a widow.
– killed for being a witch after the novel’s events.
– sneaks into the woods during the night to conduct covert business in the service of “The Black Man.”
– sometimes grouped with Hester
– rides with the “Black Man” at night
– hears Dimmesdale shrieking from the scaffold at night
– based upon an actual figure in history who was executed as a witch
– her mother’s only treasure, purchased at a great price.
– the living sermon to the Scarlet Letter
– illegitimate daughter, a young girl with a moody, mischievous spirit and an ability to perceive things that others do not
– lacks Christian decency; tosses burrs at Hester’s scarlet letter
– quickly discerns the truth about her mother and Dimmesdale.
– barely seems human to the townspeople who spread rumors that her unknown father is actually the Devil.
– wise far beyond her years, frequently engaging in ironic play having to do with her mother’s scarlet letter
Master Brackett
– jailer of Hester Prynne’s prison
– admits Hester’s husband under the name of Robert Chillingworth, a physician
– surprised that when Chillingworth entered, Hester and the baby were silenced
– “‘Nay, if your worship can accomplish that,’ answered ______, ‘I shall own you for a man of skill indeed! Verily, the woman hath been like a possessed one; and there lacks little, that I should take in hand to drive Satan out of her with stripes'” (68).
Governor Winthrop
– has gloves sewn by Hester Prynne, who only sews items for funerals, baptisms, and other events except for weddings
– passes away on the night of the “A” meteor

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