The Scarlett Letter, Nathanial Hawthorne
Chapters I and II
1. What two necessities, according to Hawthorne, must the founders of a new colony provide immediately?
- Prison and a cemetery
2. Under whose footsteps was the rose-bush outside the prison supposed to have sprung up? Sainted Anne Hutchinson
3. What kind of spectacle have the townspeople of Boston gathered to witness?
The public humiliation of Hester Prynne
4. What is the significance of the scarlet letter A which is embroidered on Hester’s gown?
Show that she was an adulteress
5. What conclusion can you draw from the fact that every new colony must provide a prison and cemetery at once?
People will commit crimes or die
6. How do most of the townspeople …show more content…
1. What reasons does Hawthorne give for Hester’s remaining in Boston, where she is an outcast?
That is where the crime happened and she didn’t want to run and hide. This is where she was from and where the father is from.
2. Hawthorne mentions three main occasions for which the people of Boston made use of Hester’s sewing skill.
Official’s robes and funeral garb and christening gowns
3. What does Hester do with any spare money she might have?
Donates it to charity
4. Hawthorne describes Hester as lonely “and without a friend on earth who dared to show himself.” Who might be one friend who shares not show himself?
The secret lover
5. The people of Boston are willing to hire Hester to make clothing for public ceremonies, funeral apparel, and baby linen but not bridal veils. Why do you suppose they make this exception?
It is supposed to show purity and love and Hester is not pure.
6. Describing how Hester is able to support herself and her child, Hawthorne says, “She possessed an art that sufficed… to supply food for her thriving infant and herself. It was the art – then, as now, almost the only one within a woman’s grasp – needlework.” What does he mean by “the only” (art) within a woman’s grasp?
He means that sewing is the only thing that women can do.
7. Hawthorne also makes this observation: “Woman derive a pleasure, incomprehensible to the other sex, from delicate told of the needle.” Do you agree that this is true now? Do you