* All Partners were chosen among 50+ writing services by our Customer Satisfaction Team
Lastly, in lieu of these shifting scenes, came back the rude market-place of the Puritan settlement, with all the townspeople assembled and levelling their stern regards at Hester Prynne,—yes, at herself,—who stood on the scaffold of the pillory, an infant on her arm, and the letter A, in scarlet, fantastically embroidered with gold thread, upon her bosom!
What is the effect of the underlined words in this excerpt?
They impart a mood of distress and shame.
Finding it so directly on the threshold of our narrative, which is now about to issue from that inauspicious portal, we could hardly do otherwise than pluck one of its flowers and present it to the reader.
What is the meaning of the word “inauspicious”?
unfavorable, boding ill
Which event described in chapter 1 of The Scarlet Letter involves the narrator?
The narrator offers the reader a rose.
“Goodwives,” said a hard-featured dame of fifty, “I’ll tell ye a piece of my mind. It would be greatly for the public behoof, if we women, being of mature age and church-members in good repute, should have the handling of such malefactresses as this Hester Prynne. What think ye, gossips? If the hussy stood up for judgment before us five, that are now here in a knot together, would she come off with such a sentence as the worshipful magistrates have awarded?”
What is the meaning of this excerpt?
The speaker believes that she and her peers ought to be in charge of assigning sentences in cases like Hester’s.
Which event described in chapter 1 of The Scarlet Letter takes place as the story begins?
A crowd gathers at the jail.
“This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die. Is there not law for it? Truly there is, both in the Scripture and the statute-book. Then let the magistrates, who have made it of no effect, thank themselves if their own wives and daughters go astray!”
What part of the plot does this excerpt reveal?
It is part of the rising action that reveals public sentiment toward Hester.
Which event described in chapter 2 of The Scarlet Letter occurs after Hester appears in front of the crowd?
Onlookers react to Hester’s embroidered letter.
The door of the jail being flung open from within, there appeared, in the first place, like a black shadow emerging into sunshine, the grim and grisly presence of the town-beadle, with a sword by his side and his staff of office in his hand.
Which best describes the purpose of the words “black shadow,” “grim,” “grisly,” and “sword”?
to impart a solemn mood
Certain it is, that, some fifteen or twenty years after the settlement of the town, the wooden jail was already marked with weather-stains and other indications of age, which gave a yet darker aspect to its beetle-browed and gloomy front. The rust on the ponderous iron-work of its oaken door looked more antique than any thing else in the new world.
The author most likely include the words “darker aspect,” “beetle-browed,” “gloomy,” and “ponderous” in order to
impart a melancholy mood.
Before this ugly edifice, and between it and the wheel-track of the street, was a grass-plot, much overgrown with burdock, pig-weed, apple-peru, and such unsightly vegetation, which evidently found something congenial in the soil that had so early borne the black flower of civilized society, a prison.
Which best describes the effect of the words “ugly,” “overgrown,” “pig-weed,” and “unsightly vegetation”?
They establish a rough, untamed setting.
Which event described in chapter 2 of The Scarlet Letter occurs after the women of the crowd are introduced?
The women discuss Hester’s sentence.
Old women march Hester to the scaffold, voicing their disapproval.