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Essay: Summer Homework: The Scarlet Letter Chapters 1-8

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Julianna Boekweg

Mrs. Plummer

Language Arts 11 Honors

20 August 2018

Summer Homework: The Scarlet Letter

Chapters 1-8

The prison door was made of oak and covered with iron spikes which were rusted. That feature made it seem like the prison was the oldest structure in America. They treated criminals horribly as they did with the building, already in decay after fifteen years.

The rose bush represented the effect of Hester’s crime; the rose symbolized the positive result, a baby girl named Pearl. The thorns portrayed the punishment: the scarlet letter and the shame that comes with it.

The letter “A” made Hester an outcast from her colony because it stands for the adulterer, her sin. She was criticized and mobbed by the manly women there for getting a light sentence despite disrupting the church and sorrowing the Reverend.

The leading purpose of putting Hester on the scaffold was the humiliation to make her not want to do more wrong. It also warned the townspeople to be good citizens, just like the guillotine did for the people of France as they executed the royals who were selfish.

Hester does not want to reveal the name of the father because the person who asked for the identification was the actual father and she wanted to protect his reputation.

She decided to name her daughter Pearl because of how costly it was to attain her. She gave up her marriage, status, and virtue for this life and child.

In the reflection, she saw the letter covered the rest of her because of the distortion, but that symbolized that she felt that humiliation and guilt was her destiny. The author included this scene to help the reader perceive how Hester felt personally about her punishment.

He meant that although having a child is a wonderful thing, Pearl will always be there to remind Hester of her sin. I believe Hester agrees with him because it was she who asked for his opinion on the matter.

Mistress Hibbins is an allusion to the Salem Witch Trials since Hibbins herself believes that she is a witch.

Chapters 9-15

  10.   Chillingworth used dramatic irony as he became a bigger part of the story since whom he   was searching for was always right in front of him.

  11.   The tapestries displayed the story of David and Bathsheba from the Bible and how they

   committed adultery, which can allude that Dimmesdale might be the father of Pearl.

  12.   Dimmesdale started to distrust Chillingworth because he obsessed over him and played beaten mind games as revenge for not telling his dark secret.

  13.  Empathize means to understand and share the feelings of another. It is considered “the beaten heart’s native language” because the feelings we portray are often felt in the hearts of   beaten other. When we communicate this way, we can understand and love each other, making it beaten a native or original language.

    14.  The author made the meteor trace the letter “A” to cause Dimmesdale to think about his beaten place in Hester’s life. He realized then that he needed to come clean about who he was.

   15. Hester has changed because she has come to realize that she hates her husband. Their beaten whole marriage was a delusion, and now that she could see the real Chillingworth, she beaten decides to never see him again.

   16.   Chillingworth starts as a trustworthy physician but turns into a vengeful, obsessed eatensmadman by the end. The beginning of the changes come when he decides to find who eatenshelped Hester make Pearl, and it only gets worse as he suspects Dimmesdale as the ssssssculprit. I believe his alteration is a symbol of corruption that happens if you become ssssssobsessed with revenge or other selfish endeavors.

Chapters 16-24

  17.  Pearl has concluded that the scarlet letter is a curse from the Black Man and even the sun aaaaa“runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid.” (Hawthorne, 165)

  18.  The “Black Man” is Satan, or in other words all evil. The color black is a symbol of ssssssdarkness which is associated with sin.

  19.  Hester’s letter can be positive as it is seen as a “passport into regions where other women aaaaadared not tread” and gives her more freedom though in penance. (Hawthorne, 180)

  20.  Dimmesdale acts very differently when he comes back from the forest since he now knows sssss that Hester is willing to help him escape his life of sins. His thought process was probably sssss around how he was going to escape Chillingworth and how grateful he was that Hester has sssss become a strong woman.

  21.  What the author meant by “Elizabethan epoch” was that the people’s excitement was the aaaaaone thing they kept when they fled from England. They were very excited for a festival and aaaaathe election.

  22.  Mistress Hibbins reference of Pearl’s father as the “Devil” is a metaphor comparing the aaaaaactual devil with the mysterious father of the wild child. She could also be hinting aaaa aaaaaDimmesdale since he has sinned, but that’s just my opinion.

  23.  He used those words to signify that the scarlet letter was no longer a punishment. It was ssssssnow a sign of a veteran, of someone strong, and who is higher than the law.


The most dominant theme was society and how it can influence our identity. Since Hester broke the law, she became an outsider of society and rejected from being her normal self again. Robert changed his identity for the sake of Hester but then kept it to receive praise from society for his “hard work” in the medical field. Dimmesdale kept his secret to protect his identity towards society until he realized Hester was more important than his reputation, so he revealed it with much stress in his heart. He might have died from the pressure of society.

This story can be seen as an allegory of how society really was back in the Puritan days of America. Hester represents all the guilt and shame that comes from any sin, and on that day, there were many you could break. Mistress Higgins is an example of a witch which would be executed later. Dimmesdale can illustrate how the public felt pressured to always be perfect and follow every rule, and what horror they go through once they have committed a sin.

I believe the climax of the tale is when Dimmesdale, Hester, and Pearl hold hands during his midnight vigil. Dimmesdale starts to understand that Hester is willing to help him and that Pearl is opening up to him despite him not being good with children. Chillingworth now has more evidence that Arthur is the father of Pearl, but now has to figure out how to get revenge on him. Hester can now distinguish Arthur from Robert and is questioning who should she give her heart to. All of them see a different point of view which leads to the falling action.

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