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Reading Schedule: The Scarlet Letter 9/08: Chapters 1, 2 9/09: Discussion: Chapters 3, 4 QUIZ 9/10: Chapters 5, 6 Break: Read Chapters 7-11. Prepare responses to questions. 9/ 21: Quiz (Chapters 7-11), Review activity 9/22: Discussion: Chapters 12-14 9/23: Chapters 15-17 Quiz 9/24: Chapters 18, 19 9/25: Discussion: Chapters 20-21 Quiz Weekend: Read Chapters 22, 23 9/28: Discussion: Chapter 24 9/29: Writing test review Sept 30, October 1: Writing Test October 5: Scarlet Letter culminating project due Chapter 1 Why does Hawthorne mention the need for a jail and cemetery? What is the significance of the rosebush? Who is Ann Hutchins and why is she considered “saintly?” Chapter 2 What is the platform called? What is Hester’s punishment? Describe the ladies watching Hester on the scaffolding. Describe the town beadle. (By the way, what is a beadle?) What would a Papist have noticed about Hester? (By the way, what is a Papist?) What does Hester think about? Chapter 3 Describe the man at the edge of the crowd. What is another name for a doctor? What is Hester’s reaction to him? What does the bystander say to this man? What does the man say about the child’s father? Who is John Wilson? What is he like? What is the physical scene in which Rev. Dimmesdale questions Hester? What does he want her to do? What could be ironic in his request? Who gives the sermon on sin? Chapter 4 How do you describe Chillingworth now? Why does he come to the jail? What is Hester afraid of? Why won’t he harm Hester? What does he ask her to promise? Who is the Black Man – really? Who was Jonathan Edwards. What is his relevance to The Scarlet Letter? Chapter 5 How do people treat Hester? Why doesn’t Hester just leave town? What is important about how she lives and supports herself and where she lives? What is the irony in needlework? What does Hester do with her extra income? What suspicion about others does Hester have? Why does Hester suppress that suspicion? What is the rumor about the scarlet letter? How is the rumor true for Hester? Chapter 6 What is the significance of the name “Pearl”? How does Pearl seem not entirely human? How does Hawthorne depict Puritan children? What games do they play? Contrast Pearl’s games? How does Pearl react to the scarlet letter? Where does Hester tell Pearl that she came from? Chapter 7 What is the public’s concern regarding Pearl? Who advocates this concern? How does Hester dress Pearl? What else is that lavish? What new things do you learn about Pearl? Does Hawthorne have any problems reproducing the speech of children? How does Pearl react to the taunts of her peers? What is Bellingham’s house like on the outside? For what reason is Hester allowed to enter? Where is there evidence of hypocrisy on Bellingham’s part? What happens when Pearl and Hester pass by the mirror? How is the Governor’s garden doing? What are the implications of that situation? in contrast to the interior of his house? Chapter 8 How does Bellingham appear when he is dressed up? What does Pearl do rather than answer Bellingham’s or Wilson’s questions? How has Chillingworth’s appearance changed? How has Dimmesdale’s appearance changed? Describe 3 arguments Dimmesdale makes on Hester’s behalf? Discuss symbols and irony in this chapter Who are the outcasts of today? Chapter 9 Why was Chillingworth valuable to the community of Boston? What is symbolic in the language Hawthorne uses to describe Chillingworth’s decision to be anonymous? In the relationship of Chillingworth and Dimmesdale, what does Dimmesdale get out of it? What is Chillingworth’s “dark purpose”? What is ironic about the townspeople’s expectations of the Chillingworth- Dimmesdale relationship? Why are the expectations ironic? Where are the verbal, dramatic, and situational ironies in this chapter? What symbols can you find in this chapter? What is the irony in the title of this chapter? Chapter 10 What tactic does Chillingworth use to get Dimmesdale to reveal his secret? What is Dimmesdale’s main argument for not revealing secrets? What is ironic about Pearl’s comments on page 93 (end of paragraph 1)? What does Chillingworth see on Dimmesdale’s chest? What is interesting about his reaction? Why does Dimmesdale get angry with Chillingworth? What ironies can you spot in this chapter? What symbols can you spot in this chapter What HUMOR(!) can you find in this chapter? Chapter 11 What is ironic about Dimmesdale’s popularity as a minister? How persuasive are the arguments for the course of action Dimmesdale has taken? How funny is Hawthorne’s occasional dry wit? Chapter 12 To what extent is Dimmesdale a victim here? How do townspeople account for the shriek? Was there a shriek at all? Why doesn’t John Wilson hear Dimmesdale? Has he failed to hear Dimmesdale before? Where is Wilson looking? What request does Pearl make of Dimmesdale? Why won’t Dimmesdale comply? What appears in the sky? What, however, does Dimmesdale make of it? To what does Pearl point? What did others make of the sign in the sky? Chapter 13 How has Hester’s reputation changed after seven years. What does the A mean? What can we tell about Hester’s philosophical/religious position in relation to that of the Puritans? Is there a term for it? What does Hester believe about the role of women in society? Where do you find evidence of danger in Hester’s thoughts? What does Hester resolve concerning Dimmesdale and Chillingworth? What is significant in the metaphor about relative height at the end of the chapter? Chapter 14 What change does Hester notice in Chillingworth? What does Hester want Chillingworth to do? What is Chillingworth’s response? Chapter 15 What is significant in Pearl’s actions in this chapter? What good does Hester see in Pearl? Does Pearl suspect the truth about Hester and Dimmesdale? Chapter 16 What is significant in the setting of this chapter? What do you make of Pearl and the references to sunshine? What do you make of Pearl and the brook? The Black Man? Chapter 17 ` To what extent is Dimmesdale’s reaction to Hester’s revelation about Chillingworth surprising? Unforgivable? Forgivable? What does Hester propose? What’s humorous here? How does Dimmesdale react? Chapter 18 Why did Hawthorne set these chapters where he did? What does Hester do with the Scarlet Letter? What does Hester do with her hair? What happens with the sunlight? What do these happenings suggest about Hester’s attitude? Tell about the symbols: forest, sunlight, brook, animals Chapter 19 How do Dimmesdale and Pearl react to each other in the forest? Why does Pearl refuse to join her mother? What does Hester have to do to get Pearl to join her? How has the time in the woods changed Hester’s life? Where do “reflections” occur? What is symbolic about them? What does Pearl have against the minister? How does she show it? Chapter 20 What change does Dimmesdale experience as he leaves the forest? Who are some of the people he meets and what does he feel like doing or saying to them? What is the overall pattern in the sequence of the people? How does Dimmesdale account for his wild impulses? Find instances of double meaning in Dimmesdale and Chillingworth’s dialogue. Chapter 21 How are Hester and Pearl dressed for the New England Holiday? How are the jolly Puritans described? Why does the beadle stop the swordfight on the scaffold? What does Hester learn of Chillingworth’s plans? Chapter 22 How does Dimmesdale march in the parade? Where do you see foreshadowing? During the procession, please notice the funny quotation concerning the marketplace and the forest. How does Hester respond to Hibbins’s suggestion that Hester and Dimmesdale were together in the forest? How does Pearl behave during Dimmesdale’s sermon? What do the Indians assume about the scarlet letter? Chapter 23 Who all is present in the last chapter and this one? Have we seen them together before? Who is absent? How do parishioners react to Dimmesdale’s sermon? What is Dimmesdale’s transformation with his confession? Now check out some references to Pearl’s character: pgs. 126, 64, 165 Why is Dimmesdale grateful for Chillingworth’s torture? Why does Chillingworth try to stop Dimmesdale? How does Chillingworth’s mien change? What is Pearl’s transformation? Chapter 24 What did people see on Dimmesdale’s chest? Why is Hawthorne so ambiguous on this point? What are two possible morals of the story? Are hatred and love really the same thing? What happens to Chillingworth? Why does Hester return to New England? How is she treated? What has become of Pearl? What is Hawthorne’s hope for the relations of women and men? Who is in the grave next to Hester’s? What does the inscription on the tombstone mean?
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