?“The Scarlet Letter” Chapters 1-3 Review Essay

1. As the narrative opens a multitude is gathered. Who are these people? Where and why are they gathered?

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Work force with face funguss in sad-colored garments and crowned chapeaus, there are besides a few adult females. They are citizens and they are gathered outside, around the market place, to see Hester Prynne on a platform, with her vermilion missive.

2. The description in Chapter One of the people’s frock, the prison, and the environing flora serves to set up certain of import feelings of Puritan society at the clip of the narrative. What feelings of this society do you acquire from the gap chapter?

It can be inferred that the timeline is in the 17th century due to the description of the country and the manner it is referenced, such as the “market place.” I feel that the community is really rigorous Puritan. As it was mentioned in the Hawthorne life talk, his authorship was influenced by a rigorous Puritan background. Puritans took wickedness really earnestly, which included being really rigorous with penalties. In the first chapter, the inside informations of Hester’s penalty are non in graphic item ; nevertheless, her wickedness is non merely taken with a “grain of salt, ” so to state, because she is put on show in forepart of the full community.

3. The narrative itself begins with the penalty of Hester Prynne.

a. What early intimations do you acquire in Chapter Two about the nature of her offense? A group of adult females are discoursing Hester at the market-place and the adult females agreed that the adult females who are mature and good church members should be allowed to cover with such “malefactresses as this Hester Prynne.” The adult females besides refer to Hester as a “hussy.” It is besides mentioned that Dimmesdale is upset about such a dirt. One adult female suggests that Hester should be branded upon her brow and another adult female declares that Hester has “brought shame upon us all, and ought to die.”

The women’s comments suggest that “Mistress Prynne” has committed a woman’s offense, one that brings them all shame. So, from the linguistic communication of the group of adult females and the footings “mistress” and “scandal, ” it can best be inferred that she committed a offense that looks bad amongst adult females and her being referred to as a kept woman ( one who partakes in sexual Acts of the Apostless without relationship bounds ) gives intimations to her offense.

B. What more definite information about her offense make you acquire in Chapter Three? While standing on the platform, Hester recognizes a adult male in the crowd who is accompanied by an Indian. This adult male inquires about her and why she is at that place. This is where we learn that she has committed criminal conversation ( the vermilion missive “A” is for criminal conversation ) .

4. What two penalties have been assigned to Hester Prynne?

One is that her wickedness ousts her from society. The other is that she must have on an “A, ” the vermilion missive, particularly for public humiliation, which marks that she committed criminal conversation.

5. Standing on the scaffold, Hester envisions her earlier life. What facts do you larn about her old life? What was her relationship with the adult male “well stricken in years” ?

We learn that she grew up in England, and her house, which was a rotten, destitute house of grey rock. Her female parent had passed off and it was inferred that she besides left her place to travel to a metropolis because she imagines a Continental metropolis with narrow streets, immense cathedrals ; and ancient public edifices. While adverting the metropolis, the book besides mentions the adult male “well stricken in his years.” It is said that she imagines a adult male whose old ages had worn on him, his right shoulder a spot distorted because the left shoulder is higher, the weary face and blear-eyed eyes of a bookman who had read many books. In the 3rd chapter, Hester sees a adult male in the crowd that matches the description of her imaginativeness and he instantly catches her regard. It is subsequently revealed in the chapter that the adult male is her hubby.

6. One adult male in the surrounding crowd is singled out. He is described as “clad in a unusual confusion of civilised and barbarous costume.” a. What consequence does
his presence have on Hester? Her intensive consciousness of the public’s attending was relieved when she saw an Indian with a white adult male in the crowd. It is said that when Hester saw the adult male, she clutched her babe to her thorax so hard that it cried ; nevertheless, she did non even recognize or hear her babe call. She could non halt gazing at him. B. What is the significance of his puting his finger on his lips when Hester fastens her eyes on him? He had noticed that she was watching him and she must’ve been confused by his presence. When he caught her regard, he pressed his finger to his lips to signal to her to non state a word. c. What hints are at that place to his individuality?

When Hester was on the scaffold conceive ofing her yesteryear, she imagined a adult male with distorted shoulders, his left shoulder higher than his right, she imagined a weary face and blear-eyed ices with a perforating power. The first hint is when Hester foremost sees the adult male and she notices his “intelligence” characteristics, she besides notices his shoulders and more into the inside informations, it is revealed through the expressive descriptions of his eyes and his regard that the adult male she sees in the crowd is the adult male she imagined.

7. While on the scaffold, Hester is subjected to a sort of question. a. What of import inquiry related to her offense remains unreciprocated? Who the male parent of Hester’s babe is/who tempted Hester.

B. What supplication do the two curates make in respect to this inquiry? To uncover the adult male who is the baby’s father/tempted Hester into criminal conversation.

c. Who else besides the 2 reverends inquiries her in this affair? It was Governor Bellingham.
d. What is Hester’s response?
That her kid must seek a heavenly male parent, for her kid will ne’er hold an earthly one.

8. Based on the reading you have done in these chapters, do you hold a theory about the reply to the inquiry which the curates have put to Hester? If you do, explicate what you have noticed in your reading that might back up your theory.

During the inquiring, Dimmesdale has a much stronger supplication than Mr. Wilson, but prior to his inquiring, he takes a minute to state a soundless supplication, which Mr. Wilson did non, which gives a spot of a intuition. Dimmesdale’s voice milk sicknesss and is rather broken when he speaks to Hester ; he even mentions that even if the adult male who tempted her had to step down from his place of high power/authority, that it would be better than populating a life of wickedness.

When Mr. Wilson asked Hester to talk, her gaze ne’er broke Dimmesdale, particularly with she said that she would ne’er state. “She will non talk! , ” murmured Dimmesdale, as he was tilting over the balcony with his manus over his bosom as he had waited to see how Hester would react.

From Dimmesdale’s strong supplication, his emotions and actions during the supplication, and the manner he reacts when Hester is asked to talk gives off intimations that there may be a connexion between Hester and Dimmesdale.


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