IntroductionThe introduction follows the narrator as he works at the Salem customs house. The narrator find a scarlet letter “A” while looking through a pile but he drops it when it burns him. I believe the letter will be a big part of the story or character development and future chapters. The introduction leaves me with questions like when and where will the letter come into play? And will the near raider continue to narrate the rest of the story?Chapter 1Chapter 1 in summary is about the building of a prison.
So far, there is no character development. But my predictions for future chapters are that it will focus on the present/someone’s life in prison, or someone avoiding it. The chapter left me with questions like – why are they building the prison? And does the placement of the prison have any significance? Whether it be a high level of criminal activity or just convenience. Chapter 2This chapter shows the main character, Hester Prynne, walk out of the prison doors with the scarlet letter stitched onto her shirt.
The “A” stands for adulterer. Adultery was seen as a crime in this time so as she walks through the crowd, people toward her. My prediction for future chapters is that it will follow Hester through this time of torment.
this chapter left me with questions like – why was why Hester receiving such a bad punishment when people have done much worse than cheat. Chapter 3 While standing on the scaffold, Hester spots her husband. He does not want his identity to be revealed.
He asks a stranger about Hester’s crimes, baby, and who the father is – but Hester refuses to say who the partner was. This chapter left me with questions like – why didn’t has to reveal the identity of her partner? And why did Hester’s husband not want his identity revealed? Chapter 4 In this chapter, Hester and her baby return to the prison. Hester’s husband says his name is Roger Chillingworth.
Posing as a physician, Chillingworth gives concoctions to Hester and her baby, Winchester believes are poisonous. Chillingworth forgives Hester for betraying him, yet she still refuses to give out the identity of the father. When she denies, Chillingworth makes her promise that she will not reveal his identity. This left me wondering why he came to Massachusetts with a fake alias. Chapter 5After a few months, Hester is released from prison. She had the choice to leave Boston but she decided to stay and live in a secluded cabin. Hester was seen as a walking example to all women shouldn’t do. Hester was very talented with me to work, so she stayed on her feet with that.
Her work defied Puritan codes of fashion, but she didn’t care. Hester was very lonely and still stunned by the townspeople. This makes me wonder why she didn’t leave when she had the chance.Chapter 6In this chapter, her daughter, Pearl, is explained as the spawn of the devil. Hester sees her as the greatest treasure and her greatest shame. Pearls birth was seen as a sin and her being was against Puritan beliefs. As she grew up, she continue to the five Puritan rolls. The townspeople saw her as a target, despite her age.
A scene in this chapter was one pearl asked Hester about her origins. Chapter 7Hester visits Governor Bellingham’s mansion with two goals. One, to deliver ornate gloves that she made for him. And two, to see if there is any truth to the rumor going around town that pearl will be taken from her.
They say the pearl should be taken because she may be a devil child, and another reason is that if she is an actual human being, she deserves a better parent than Hester. Hester is looking at Bellingham’s armor from war, and is terrified when she sees the scarlet letter in her reflection. Pearl screams for a rose from the bush outside, which may be referencing the rosebush from the first chapter.
Chapter 8 Bellingham, Wilson, Chillingworth, and Dimmesdale walk into the room. They notice Pearl and begin to mock her. When they see Hester, they question why she should be allowed to keep the child. Hester says that she can teach Pearl an important lesson that she learned from her own shame. The men desired that Hester is allowed to keep Pearl, but Chillingworth tries to reopen the investigation to find out Pearl’s father, this is dismissed. Chapter 9 Chillingworth is posing as a doctor and is valued by the townspeople because of their limited access to good medical care.
He claims to have “native” or “natural” remedies, since he was captured and held by Native Americans. The townspeople refers to him as “the leech”. Dimmesdale has been suffering from health problems. this has stopped him from pursuing any of the young women that have devoted themselves to him. Chillingworth insists on moving in with Dimmesdale to keep an eye on him. Dimmesdale’s room is filled with tapestries depicting biblical scenes of adultery and its punishment.
This could push the theory of him the father. Chapter 10 Chillingworth is devoting all his time to curing Dimmesdale. He also starts questioning the more private parts of Dimmesdale’s life.
The two men noticed pearl outside in the graveyard with the scarlet letter. Chillingworth notice something or Dimmesdale’s chest, which is kept a Secret from the reader. I think it might be a scarlet letter of his own, maybe a branding, but it’s not shown to the world like Hesters. Although, I think that the pain in Dimmesdale’s chest could symbolize where his own scarlet letter should go.
Chapter 11 Chillingworth is upset with Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale continues to beat himself up, both physically and emotionally, with self mutilation and talking about how vile he is. Although even though he talks about how bad he is, nobody believes him. Dimmesdale has continuous visions of Hester and pearl. In the visions, Hester points to the scarlet letter on her chest, and then points to Dimmesdale’s chest. This chapter left me wondering why does Dimmesdale not do anything for Hester or Pearl if he feels so bad about it?Chapter 12Dimmesdale stands on the scaffold, where Hester was in the second chapter.
With the pain in his chest growing by the minute, he screams. luckily for him, only a few towns people heard it and they missed took it as a witches cry. Hester was in town because she had to make a gallon for someone who had passed, so when Dimmesdale saw her, he invited Hester and Pearl on to the scaffold. The three of them hold hands to form a “electric chain”.
Pearl asks Dimmesdale if he will stand with them on the scaffold in front of the townspeople, to which she replies with “Not now, child, but at another time”. A meteor lit up the night sky, and Dimmesdale pointed out the letter a marked in the sky. Pearl pointed out that Chillingworth was there.
Dimmesdale asked who Chillingworth really was, but Hester didn’t say because she was sworn to secrecy. Chapter 13Hester is becoming more active in society. Some people still use her as an object of scorn, but more people are associating “A” on her chest with the word “Able” as opposed to “Adulterer”. Hester’s personality has also changed.
Instead of being a caring, tender person, she is now a “bare an hard outline” of her previous self. She begins to be speculative. Wondering what it takes to be a women in society. She also wonders if she is doing more damage to Dimmesdale by not releasing Chillingworth’s identity. She also wonders if something is wrong with pearl.Chapter 14Hester and pearl spot Chillingworth near a beach. Chillingworth tells Hester that he has heard good things about her, and the town fathers are considering allowing her to take off the scarlet letter.
She says that the scarlet letter cannot come off without “divine providence”. Hester tells Chillingworth that she believes that Dimmesdale should know his true identity. After this Chillingworth gets angry and turns into “the embodiment of evil”. Chillingworth says that his revenge and Hester’s silence are their “fate”. Chapter 15As Chillingworth walks away, Hester realizes that she hates her husband. She says that any happiness she wants thought she had with him was just self delusion. Hester finds pearl playing in some tide pools where she used to eelgrass to make the letter a on her chest.
Hester begins to explain the meaning of the scarlet letter to Pearl. Pearl relates the scarlet letter to Dimmesdale’s chest pains, and Hester is astounded by her perceptiveness. Hester decides not to go any further into detail about the letter, but Pearl is persistent for the next few days. Chapter 16Hester waits in the forest for Dimmesdale to tell him about Chillingworth’s identity. Pearl asks Hester about the “black man”. Pearl heard about this man from townspeople, they said that the scarlet letter is a mark from the black man. Pearl keeps egging on Hester to tell him.
When Hester sees Dimmesdale’s figure, she shoos away Pearl, but Pearl is too afraid to go into the forest alone so she bothers her mother. Hester then shouts “It is no Black Man! ..
. It is the minister”. Chapter 17 Hester and Dimmesdale sit by a secluded brook, where she confesses that Chillingworth is her husband.
When told this news, Dimmesdale blames Hester for all of his suffering and it causes a “dark transfiguration” within himself. Hester buries Dimmesdale’s face into her scarlet letter, begging for forgiveness. Dimmesdale forgives Hester because Chillingworth is a worse sinner than the both of them. Dimmesdale is worried about Chillingworth exposing them, but Hester tells him not to worry and that they can go to Europe together as a family. Chapter 18 The idea of moving to Europe as a family excites Hester and Dimmesdale.
Hester rips off her scarlet letter, regaining poise and beauty. The sunlight, which normally avoided Hester, as said by Pearl, is shining in the whole forest. Hester wants Pearl to know Dimmesdale.
In this chapter, especially, Hawthorne describes Pearl as very close with nature and it’s forces, per say. Chapter 19 Hester asks Pearl to join her and Dimmesdale. Pearl notices that Hester i’m not wearing the scarlet letter, and points to it. She refuses to come to them, so Hester puts the letter back on.
Pearl kisses the scarlet letter, probably out of spite for the situation. Hester doesn’t say that Dimmesdale is the father, but she asks Pearl “Will he go back with us, hand in hand, we three together, into the town?”. Dimmesdale kisses Pearls forehead, to which she runs back to the brook to wipe off. Chapter 20Dimmesdale and Hester decide to move to Europe because the environment is better for his health and the anonymity. Hester uses charity work to become friends with the crew of a ship that is on route to Europe. Now, Dimmesdale sees familiar things as strange and irregular.
He wants to confess, but he feels a lock on his throat. Dimmesdale tells Chillingworth that he no longer needs medicine. Dimmesdale throws out his original sermon for Election Day, replacing it with a new one that represents his new outlook on life.
Chapter 21The chapter starts off with a public gathering, much like the beginning of the book. But this time, instead of it being for the public shame of Hester, it’s for the election of anew Governor. Pearl asks Hester if Dimmesdale will hold their hands at the gathering like he did at the brook.
Hester is excited to leave her life behind and start over with her family. But then a sailor says that Chillingworth will be join the ship, as part of Hester’s party, because the ship is in need of a doctor. Chapter 22The sermon is about to begin and Pearl is asking if Dimmesdale is the same minister from the forest. Mistress Hibbins approaches Hester and Pearl to talk about Dimmesdale. She says that Dimmesdale left his “mark”. Essentially, saying the devil is Pearl’s real father. After this, Hibbins invites Pearl to go on a witch ride with her, even though she is soon being executed for witchcraft.
While listening to the sermon, Chillingworth says he will deal with Dimmesdale so that Hester doesn’t have to. She brushes it off but soon realizes that everyone is staring at her. Chapter 23The sermon is done and it moves the whole audience. Dimmesdale says that people in Europe or “chosen by God”. His audience says that this sermon was by far the best and most inspiring out of all of his. Dimmesdale then mounts the scaffold with Hester and Pearl saying that God led him there.
After getting people’s attention, he begins to confess to his sins. Dimmesdale states that much like Hester, she has a red mark on his chest as well. He removed his ministerial garments, revealing his chest to the audience. Pearl kisses Dimmesdale’s forehead, he says goodbye to Hester, and then passes away. Chapter 24The towns people that witnessed Dimmesdale’s death or not sure how it happened. They think it was caused by his grievance, his self torture, or medicine given to him by Chillingworth. A year after Dimmesdale’s death, Chillingworth dies. Chillingworth leaves a large inheritance for Pearl.
After his death, Hester and Pearl disappear, causing the scarlet letter to turn into a legend. Hester eventually returns to Boston to continue charity work. She continues to wear the scarlet letter, even though it lost its stigma. Hester dies and is buried in the King’s Chapel graveyard. Her grave is close to Dimmesdale, but not too close for them to “mingle” in the afterlife. But, they share a headstone with a scarlet letter “A” in a black background.