Reading Guide for The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Summer reading book—11th Grade Honors American Studies
REMINDER: Skip the section called “The Custom House.” Begin with Chapter 1.
Before Reading: Please complete the column labeled “My Belief.” Write “A” if you agree and
“D” if you disagree with each statement. After Reading: Write “A” if you think Puritans in The
Scarlet Letter would agree and “D” if you believe they would disagree. Be prepared to explain your answers in class discussion.
Public humiliation helps deter crime. For example, making a shoplifter wear a sign “I stole from Macy’s” in front of the Springfield Mall would deter others from shoplifting. Honesty is important. Cheating is dishonest; students who are caught cheating should not be able to become members of the National Honor Society.
Keeping a secret about a bad deed causes more pain and grief than revealing the incident and suffering the consequences. If two people violate a society’s rules, one should not be permitted to confess without naming the other.
Punishment should fit the crime.
During Reading: Please supply a very brief description of the action in each chapter.
The Prison Door
The Market Place
Hester at Her