In Junein Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, a crowd gathers to witness the punishment of Hester Prynne, a young woman who has given birth to a baby of unknown parentage. She is required to wear a scarlet "A" on her dress when she is in front of the townspeople to shame her. The letter "A" stands for adulteress, although this is never said explicitly in the novel. Her sentence required her to stand on the scaffold for three hours, exposed to public humiliation, and to wear the scarlet "A" for the rest of her life.
While waiting for him, she had an affair with a Puritan minister named Dimmesdale, after which she gave birth to Pearl. Hester is passionate but also strong—she endures years of shame and scorn. She equals both her husband and her lover in her intelligence and thoughtfulness.
Her alienation puts her in the position to make acute observations about her community, particularly about its treatment of women. Read an in-depth analysis of Hester Prynne.
For example, she quickly discerns the truth about her mother and Dimmesdale. The townspeople say that she barely seems human and spread rumors that her unknown father is actually the Devil. Read an in-depth analysis of Pearl. He is much older than she is and had sent her to America while he settled his affairs in Europe.
Because he is captured by Native Americans, he arrives in Boston belatedly and finds Hester and her illegitimate child being displayed on the scaffold. Chillingworth is self-absorbed and both physically and psychologically monstrous.
His single-minded pursuit of retribution reveals him to be the most malevolent character in the novel. Read an in-depth analysis of Roger Chillingworth.
In a moment of weakness, he and Hester became lovers. Although he will not confess it publicly, he is the father of her child. He deals with his guilt by tormenting himself physically and psychologically, developing a heart condition as a result.
Dimmesdale is an intelligent and emotional man, and his sermons are thus masterpieces of eloquence and persuasiveness. His commitments to his congregation are in constant conflict with his feelings of sinfulness and need to confess.
Despite his role as governor of a fledgling American society, he very much resembles a traditional English aristocrat. He remains blind to the misbehaviors taking place in his own house: He is a stereotypical Puritan father, a literary version of the stiff, starkly painted portraits of American patriarchs.
Unlike Dimmesdale, his junior colleague, Wilson preaches hellfire and damnation and advocates harsh punishment of sinners. The narrator is a rather high-strung man, whose Puritan ancestry makes him feel guilty about his writing career.
He writes because he is interested in American history and because he believes that America needs to better understand its religious and moral heritage.The obvious way to read the The Scarlet Letter is to say that Pearl ends up redeeming both her mom and Dimmesdale.
She's the "pearl of great price" who ends up restoring their souls.
She's the "pearl of great price" who ends up restoring their souls. Full Glossary for The Scarlet Letter; Cite this Literature Note; Summary and Analysis Chapter 1 - The Prison-Door Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List. Summary.
In this first chapter, Hawthorne sets the scene of the novel — Boston of the seventeenth century. tragic tale and in part as an image that "the deep heart of nature.
Hester Prynne - Hester is the book’s protagonist and the wearer of the scarlet letter that gives the book its metin2sell.com letter, a patch of fabric in the shape of an “A,” signifies that Hester is an “adulterer.” As a young woman, Hester married an elderly scholar, Chillingworth, who sent her ahead to America to live but never followed her.
Hester Prynne - Hester is the book’s protagonist and the wearer of the scarlet letter that gives the book its metin2sell.com letter, a patch of fabric in the shape of an “A,” signifies that Hester is an “adulterer.” As a young woman, Hester married an elderly scholar, Chillingworth, .
The Scarlet Letter Analysis Literary Devices in The Scarlet Letter. Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory.
The prison door is described as having never known "a youthful era," i.e., innocence (). It’s made of iron and is a little worse for wear, if you catch our drift.
Yet, the wild rosebush that g. Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (), the corpus of our study, is a worthy symbolic novel in which symbolism invades all its components. It is the study of the effects of adultery.