The Scarlet Letter Hackett Flashcard Example #39243

Who is the Author?
Nathaniel Hawthorne
When did Hawthorne live?
When was the novel written?
Notes on Puritanism
– Colonists came in search of religious freedom
– Public confession was necessary for salvation
– The individual was subordinate to the community
– Intercourse outside of marriage was punishable by death
(Ch. 1) Where does the story take place?
Boston Massachusettes
(Ch. 1) What is the significance of the rosebush outside of the prison door?
It symbolizes that in a bad place something beautiful can arise
(Ch. 1) What is “the black flower” of civilized society?
the prison
(Ch. 2) When does this story take place?
17th Century / 1642-1649
(Ch. 2) Who is old Mistress Hibbins?
a bitter-tempered widow of the magistrate, and also sister of Governor Bellingham (witch)
(Ch. 2) What are the people of the town doing?
standing outside of the prison
(Ch. 2) Who is Hester Prynne?
the main character.
long dark hair
dark eyes
very lady-like
(Ch. 2) Who is Reverend Dimmesdale?
He is the Pastor of the Puritan Church of Boston
(Ch. 2) What are the women of the town so angry about?
That Hester got off easy for committing adultry
(Ch. 2) What is Hester carrying?
A 3 month old baby girl
(Ch. 2) What is fastened to her dress?
a red “A” made of cloth, surrounded with embroidery and gold thread.
(Ch. 2) What does the symbol stand for?
(Ch. 2) Where is Hester going?
To the scaffold in the center of the marketplace
(Ch. 2) What is a scaffold?
A raised platform with a pillory used for humiliation
(Ch. 2) What is a pillory?
Wooden framework used for embaressment
(Ch. 3) Who does Hester see in the crowd?
Her husband
-has a deformity, one shoulder higher than the other
(Ch. 3) What gesture does the man in the crowd make?
presses his finger against his lips “SHHH”
(Ch. 3) A townsman tells Hester Prynne’s story. Explain it in your own words.
She came to Boston before her husband to find a house and get settled while he tied up some loose ends, she hadn’t heard from him in years and assumed that he was dead.
(Ch. 3) Who is the Father of the baby?
We do not know in this chapter
(Ch. 3) What is Hester’s permanent sentence (punishment) ? What is this instead of?
She has to stand on the scaffold for 3 hours, and wear the Scarlet Letter “A” for the rest of her life. This is instead of being Killed
(Ch. 3) There is a balcony over the scaffold. Who is on it?
Governor Bellingham, Reverend Dimmesdale, and Reverend John Wilson
(Ch. 3) What are the trying to get from Hester?
The name of her lover
(Ch. 3) Why is it Reverend Dimmesdale’s responsibility to question her?
Because she is a member of the Puritan Church of Boston and he is her pastor
(Ch. 3) Dimmesdale talks with Hester. Summarize what he says.
He tells her that she should release the name of her secret lover, so that her soul can be saved
(Ch. 3) How does Hester respond to Dimmesdale’s words?
She shakes her head, no.
(Ch. 3) A voice comes from the crowd telling Hester to speak. Who is it?
Her husband
(Ch. 3) How does Hester respond to the person speaking from the crowd?
She says her child must seek a heavenly father, because she will never know an earthly one.
(Ch. 4) After Hester returns to prison, a physician is sent for. Who is it?
Roger Chillingsworth (her husband)
(Ch. 4) What does she suspect of Roger Chillingsworth?
That he is trying to poison the baby
(Ch. 4) What was Hester’s past with Roger Chillingsworth?
He was her husband
(Ch. 4) What was Roger’s “folly”?
To think that an older, bookwormish man had any business marring a woman like Hester
(Ch. 4) Did she ever love Roger?
(Ch. 4)What does Roger Chillingsworth say he is going to do?
Find out who Hester’s lover was and seek revenge
(Ch. 4) What secret does Chillingsworth ask Hester to keep?
Not to tell anyone his identity
(Ch. 5) Give a few reasons why Hester stays in that town.
Hester stays in that town because:
-of Puritan beliefs
-her lover is there
-the roots of her sin are there
-her guilt is there and that is where she should be punished
(Ch. 5) Where does Hester live?
In a small cottage on the outskirts of town
(Ch. 5) How does Hester earn a living?
She’s a seamestress
(Ch. 5) Who buys Hester’s work?
Government officials, military men, ministers, parents, and dead people
(Ch. 5) Who does not buy Hester’s work?
(Ch. 5) Why do you think Hester does not cover up the Scarlet Letter?
Because it looks good, and she knows that she has sinned
(Ch. 5) Besides look of scorn and occasional sympathy, Hester notes another kind of look people give her. What is it?
“A knowing look” as if the person were guilty of the same crime but has not been caught yet
(Ch. 5) What story did the vulgar people tell about the Scarlet Letter?
That the letter “A” has a red-hot internal fire, that it glows in the dark, and that it isn’t just a piece of cloth
(Ch. 6) Why was the infant named Pearl?
She was purchased at a great price, and she is Hester’s only treasure
(Ch. 6) What was the typical family discipline like in the 1600s?
Children were beaten and then forced to read or listen Scripture
(Ch. 6) Was Hester strict? Explain.
No, because when she was strict Pearl didn’t respond, when she was lenient Pearl didn’t respond, so nothing worked.
(Ch. 6) What does Hester think is peculiar about Pearl?
That she is filled with a mix of emotions. She is like a wild child, and has a wild flow of spirit
(Ch. 6) Does Pearl have friends?
(Ch. 6) How does Pearl react to the Puritan children?
She throws rocks at them and shouts incoherent words
(Ch. 6) When Pearl plays, what kind of people does she make up?
Imaginary enemies to fight with
(Ch. 6) What was the first thing that Pearl noticed in her life?
The Scarlet Letter “A”
(Ch. 6) What did Hester sometimes imagine seeing in Pearl’s eyes?
An evil spirit
(Ch. 6) What does Pearl throw at her mother?
wild flowers aimed at the Scarlet Letter “A”
(Ch. 6) What does Pearl look like when she throws things at her mother?
An elf
(Ch. 6) When Hester asks Pearl who sent her, what does Pearl say?
“Tell me mother.”
(Ch. 6) Hester says, “The Heavenly Father sent thee.” How does Pearl respond?
“He did not send me, I have no heavenly Father”
(Ch. 6) What do the townspeople say about Pearl’s origin?
She is a demon offspring
(Ch. 7) Why did Hester go to Governor Bellingham’s?
To bring him gloves that she made and to ask if they were going to take Pearl
(Ch. 7) What does Hester see in the breastplate of the suit of armor? Why is this significant?
The Scarlet Letter “A”, and Pearl is there to mock her pain.
(Ch. 7) What does Pearl want that is outside?
A red rose
(Ch. 8) What does Hester say she can do for Pearl?
She can teach her the lessons of life
(Ch. 8) When asked who made her, what does Pearl say?
She hasn’t been made at all, she had been plucked by her mother from the wild rose bush outside of the prison.
(Ch. 8) According to Hester, why did God give her Pearl?
In replacement of all that had been taken from her, Pearl is Hester’s only happiness, but also her torture. Nobody else will love Pearl. She IS the Scarlet Letter
(Ch. 8) Who successfully argues for Hester to keep Pearl?
Reverend Dimmesdale
(Ch. 8) What does Pearl do to Reverent Dimmesdale?
She grabs his hand and places it on her cheek
(Ch. 8) How is Pearl’s grabbing of Reverend Dimmesdale’s hand similar to something that she did earlier in the novel?(Chapter 3)
She reached up to him on the scaffold in Chapter 3
(Ch. 8) What does Mistress Hibbins ask Hester?
Is she is going into the woods to meet the black man (the devil) with them
(Ch. 8) How does Hester respond when Mistress Hibbins asks her to go into the woods?
She says she needs to stay home and watch Pearl. If they had taken Pearl then she would have gone and signed the devil’s black book with her blood
(Ch.9) What is a leech as used in the story?
A doctor, he prays on other people
(Ch.9) Why did people think that Dimmesdale’s health was failing?
His appearance was worsening, he didn’t look too good.
“He is devoted to his study”
(Ch.9) What does Dimmesdale do with his hand when he is alarmed or surprised?
He puts his hand over his heart
(Ch.9) What is the relationship between Dimmesdale and Chillingsworth?
Chillingsworth is Dimmesdale’s doctor
(Ch.9) How is Chillingsworth studying Dimmesdale?
CHhillingsworth watches Dimmesdale in his every day life and asks personal questions about him
(Ch.9) Who should a man with a secret avoid? Why?
A doctor, because very few secrets get past them
(Ch.9) Where did Pearl and Hester live?
On the outskirts of town in a small cottage
(Ch.9) What does Dimmesdale reject?
the help of Chillingsworth and the idea of having a wife
(Ch.9) What did people originally think of Chillingsworth’s relationship to Dimmesdale?
That the hand of God sent Chillingsworth to help Dimmesdale
(Ch.9) Now what do the townspeople think of Chillingsworth’s relationship to Dimmesdale?
They’re doubting Chillingsworth and believe that he is trying to take Dimmesdale’s soul

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