Plot: Letter on her bosom as a punishment.

Plot: The novel is set during the seventeenth century in Boston, as Hester Prynne is in jail. She goes to the scaffold and is humiliated for committing adultery; meanwhile, Roger Chillingworth is in the crow. Hester also denies who the father of her child is. The rising action is when Hester is released from prison and goes to her cottage, working as a seamstress and Pearl grows up. Hester and Pearl visit the governor, not knowing that he wants to take Pearl away from her. The climax is when Pearl stays with Hester, but Pearl denies God. All the while Chillingworth and Dimmesdale become good friends and move in with each other. Dimmesdale grows in his guilt for not telling the truth and Chillingworth continues to mess with him. The falling action is when Dimmesdale is exposed to Chillingworth and during the night, Dimmesdale stands on the platform with Hester and Pearl. There is a red light that appears in the sky in the shape of an A and Dimmesdale thinks it stands for adultor. Characters: Hester Prynne is the protagonist who commits adultery and has to wear a Scarlet Letter on her bosom as a punishment. She is confident, courageous, and has “dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam” (Hawthorne 46). Pearl is a guide mentor and Hester’s mischievous daughter who is imaginative, wise, and intelligent. She signifies her mother’s sin, but is also a living embodiment of her mother’s strength. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is Hester’s foil, a clergyman, and the person who had an affair with Hester. He is well respected by the town, but is drowning in his own sin. He is selfish to not tell the public what he did, but he physically abuses himself. Roger Chillingworth is the antagonist, a physician, and Hester’s husband. Hester is able to see that “one of this man’s shoulders rose higher than the other” (Hawthorne 55). Just like his shoulders being messed up, so is his heart and soul, thinking he can constantly mess with Dimmesdale’s mind. Setting: The Scarlet Letter is set in 17th century Boston, Massachusetts in a Puritan community, where the people are very religious. The book begins in a dark prison, which establishes a gloomy and sad atmosphere. It is a place for punishment and isolation, but the rose bush outside the door symbolizes hope for what is to come. It changes to the scaffold, which is where Hester is publicly humiliated and helps develop themes of sin, punishment, guilt, judgement, and shame. It contributes to conflict because this is where Hester first sees Chillingworth and after this scene at the scaffold she will never be treated the same again. It is the place that Dimmesdale knows he has to go to confess his sin, but will be shamed. Hester’s cottage in the woods is important because it is a place of solitude, sombreness, and loneliness. Hester and Pearl live isolated on the outskirts of town because she is an outcast and they are not welcome by the townspeople. She is able to work from home and take care of her daughter without interaction with others. Theme: The search for forgiveness is a controlling theme meaning that after someone sins they try to look for a way to be saved and forgiven. The townspeople think Hester “has brought shame upon all of us” (Hawthorne 47). At the time nobody thinks they could ever forgive Hester for what she did, but as time goes on people slowly start to accept and forgive her once again. Revenge is another theme that is mainly shown through Chillingworth. Chillingworth imagines “a more intimate revenge than any mortal had ever wreaked upon an enemy” (Hawthorne 130). Because he is angry with Dimmesdale for having an affair with his wife, he tortures Dimmesdale’s mind to get revenge. The negative consequences of guilt are mainly shown in Dimmesdale’s character because he has a burden for not telling the truth, but also in Hester. Hester says “I have greatly wronged thee” (Hawthorne 57), which shows that she knows that she shouldn’t have committed adultery and feels the guilt for being unfaithful to her husband.Symbols: The scarlet letter is a symbol of adulatory, sin, and punishment; which brings about Hester’s desolation. It is used to identify Hester, but since she is the one that crafts it, she is in command of her own castigation. Pearl is a symbol of two things: sin and redemption, and she figuratively represents the scarlet letter. She represents sin because Hester having her as a child makes Pearl the sin and Heater’s path back to heaven after sin is her way in finding redemption. Hester dresses Peal to look like the scarlet letter; therefore, she is a constant reminder of Hester’s sin. The red meteor in the sky in the shape of the letter A has different interpretations, depending on how you look at it. Dimmesdale sees it as meaning adulterer and thinks it is targeted at him, but most of the townspeople think it means angel because Governor Bellingham just died, making the symbol out to be a sign of his ascension to heaven. The meteor should make Dimmesdale wonder why he is not wearing an A like Hester and entails that he should be. Analysis of Author’s Style:  • Imagery- “This was a large wooden house…now moss-grown, crumbling  to decay, and melancholy at heart with the many sorrowful or joyful occurrences”  (Hawthorne 94).  • Archaic Language- “Yonder woman… who had long ago dwelt in Amsterdam, whence some good time shone he was minded to cross over” (Hawthorne 57). • Litotes- ” in Hester Prynne’s instance, however, as not unfrequently in other cases…” (Hawthorne 47). • Metaphor- “Even then, I was in the autumn of my days, nor was it the early autumn” (Hawthorne 161). • Simile- “But it will calm the swell and heaving of thy passion, like oil thrown on the waves of a tempestuous sea” (Hawthorne 67). • Personification- “This was a large wooden house, built in a fashion of which there are still specimens still extant in the streets of elder towns; now moss-grown” (Hawthorne 94). • Allusion- “…branded the brow of Cain” (Hawthorne 77).• Long Sentence- “A throng of bearded men…studded with iron spikes” (Hawthorne 43). 


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