The Scarlet Letter - Chapters 1-3
Who wrote this novel?
What is the setting?
What is the woman's name (first and last) who committed adultery?
How did the majority of the women in the crowd feel about her punishment?
What three punishments did she have to endure? (Be specific.)
Who was her minister?
Of what was the woman thinking as she stood on the scaffold?
What information were the church leaders trying to get from her?
When she recognized the man in the crowd, what sign did he give her?
The Scarlet Letter: Chapters 4 & 5
A "physician" was called to the jail to help Hester and her child. Who was
Why was Hester afraid to give her baby the medicine?
For what reasons does Roger accept some responsibility for her sin?
What does Roger intend to do about this situation?
What does Roger get Hester to promise?
Toward what purpose does he obtain this promise?
At the end of chapter 4, to whom does Hester compare Roger?
Why did Hester remain in Boston? (2 reasons)
How did Hester earn a living?
Compare Hester's clothes to those of her child.
What garment was Hester never asked to make?
Describe the treatment of Hester by the townspeople.
What story began to be spread concerning the "A?"
The Scarlet Letter Chapters 6 - 8
What is the meaning of Pearl's name?
Why is Hester somewhat frightened of and about Pearl?
When Hester goes to the governor's mansion, she has two reasons for doing
so. What are they?
Who is visiting the governor when Hester arrives?
How does Pearl respond to the question, "Who made thee?"
Why does she do this and what reaction does she receive?
When the men talk of taking Pearl, to whom does Hester turn for help?
What argument does he use to persuade the others not to take Pearl from
Upon leaving, Hester sees Mistress Hibbins. Describe their conversation.
What is the significance of this exchange?
The Scarlet Letter Chapters 9 & 10
Who and what is a "leech?"
Why were Dimmesdale and Chillingworth living together? Explain Arthur's
reason and Roger's reason.
When Chillingworth asks why anyone would continue to hide his sin rather
than free himself by confessing it, what two reasons does Dimmesdale offer
as an explanation?
When Pearl and Hester sees Dimmesdale and Chillingworth through the
window, what of significance does she say to her mother?
At the end of chapter 10, as Arthur sleeps, Chillingworth pushes aside
Arthur's shirt and stares at his chest. How does he react to what he sees?
What do you think he sees?
The Scarlet Letter Chapters 11 - 13
As Dimmesdale's suffering increases how does the opinion of his
congregation change? Why is this ironic?
How does Rev. Dimmesdale punish himself?
Describe Dimmesdale's thoughts and actions in the "scaffold scene" before
Hester and Pearl appear.
What important event is occurring in the town at that time? Why is this
important to the development of the story?
What happens when the three people (who?) stand on the scaffold?
What does Pearl ask Dimmesdale repeatedly? What answer does he give
What appears in the sky? How is this explained? (2 explanations at least)
On the Sabbath the sexton finds something. Explain what it is and the
sexton's opinion of why it appeared there.
In chapters 12 and 13 seven years have passed since the birth of Pearl. How
have Reverend Dimmesdale and Hester changed?
How has the opinion of the townspeople changed regarding Hester?
Who sometime believes that death would have been preferable to his/her
At the end of chapter 13, what does Hester feel compelled to do?
The Scarlet Letter Chapters 14 - 16
When Chillingworth and Hester meet, what does he tell her regarding the
scarlet letter? What is her response?
What changes in Chillingworth are evident to Hester?
What does Hester greatly regret?
Whom does Chillingworth blame for his becoming a fiend?
What does Hester ask Chillingworth (regarding Dimmesdale)? What is his
What part does Chillingworth thing that fate has played in their lives?
How does Hester now feel about Chillingworth?
Does Hester accept responsibility for the tragedy that has occurred in the
main characters' lives? If not, whom does she blame?
When Hester asks Pearl whether she understands the significance of the A
that Hester wears, what is Pearl's response?
Afterward, Pearl asks Hester, "What does the letter mean, mother? and
why dost thou war it? - and why does the minister keep his hand over his
heart?" How does Hester finally answer this?
Where does Hester decide to attempt to meet Dimmesdale?
What does Hester finally, at the end of chapter 16, tell Pearl that the A is?
The Scarlet Letter Chapters 17 - 19
What question does Dimmesdale first ask Hester?
When she, in turn, asks him the same question, what does he answer?
When Hester tells Dimmesdale of Chillingworth's true identity, how does he
When Dimmesdale sees death as his only way of escaping Chillingworth, what
does Hester urge him to do?
What objection does Dimmesdale have to this plan and how does Hester deal
with these objections?
Once Dimmesdale accepts Hester's plan, how does he feel? What does
Hester do that takes away her prior appearance of plainness and severity?
When Hester calls Pearl, how does Pearl react to Hester's changed
When Dimmesdale kisses Pearl, what is her reaction?
The Scarlet Letter Chapters 20 & 21
What are the plans for Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale's escape?
Describe Dimmesdale's actions as he walks through the town.
Describe Dimmesdale's conversation with Mistress Hibbins.
What important holiday is being celebrated in chapter 21?
What types of people gather for this holiday?
What news does Hester hear from the commander of the ship?
How did Chillingworth find out about Hester's plan?
The Scarlet Letter Chapter 22
During the Election Day procession, how is Dimmesdale's appearance
As Dimmesdale passes her, how does his presence affect Hester?
Who joins Hester? Describe their conversation (and the prediction one of
What message does the ship's commander give to Hester through Pearl?
Explain the contrast between how the people in the crowd are viewing
Hester as opposed to the attitude of the congregation towards Dimmesdale.
The Scarlet Letter Chapter 23-end of the novel
Dimmesdale's sermon on Election Day is his most "brilliant and triumphant
As Dimmesdale walks in the procession from the church, how has his
Both Mr. Wilson and Governor Bellingham attempt to help Dimmesdale; what
is his reaction?
Describe what occurs at the scaffold.
What are Dimmesdale's final words?
What 2 words summarize the moral of this story?
What happens to the other characters at the end of the novel?