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8 Cards in this Set

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  • Back

How s Hester’s emergence from the prison at the end of her confinement different from her emergence on the day she stood in public humiliation?


What traditional dichotomy does Hawthorne begin to establish with the location of Hester’s cottage?

The people in Boston did not want Hester, but they needed her for her skills as a seamstress, thus her cottage is on the outskirts of the village: close enough for the villagers to use her services but far enough to keep her away.

Give two reasons why Hester decides to remain instead of moving to a less restrictive colony.

1) Hester wants to stay close to her paramour.2) Hester believes staying in Boston and dealing with her punishment will cleanse her soul of her sin.

How do the townspeople treat Hester, and how does she react?

The townspeople all look down on Hester and publicly disrespect her. When she is mocked, she feels insulted but never tries to retaliate.

How does Hester’s character evolve?

She becomes more humble and charitable after having the revelation that everyone is guilty of having sin in their hearts.

Describe the difference between Hester’s clothing and her child’s.

Hester's clothes are always drab in contrast to her scarlet letter. Pearl's clothes are very lavish and intricately designed.

What point is Hawthorne making about an individual’s ability to separate oneself from one’s wrongdoings?


Where do Hawthorne’s sympathies lie? How do you know?

Hawthorne's sympathies lie with Hester. One way we know this is through the use of the physiognomy. Hester is described as beautiful which paints a kind character and Chillingsworth is described as ugly which paints an evil character. Also, all the townspeople who ostracize Hester are portrayed as small minded.