Chapter 5 (V) Hester at her needle
1. Why is it harder to leave prison at the end of her sentence?
2. What will be on her gravestone? Why?
3. Why doesn’t she leave?
4. Where does she live?
5. How does she earn her living? What can’t she do?
6. How does she dress herself? Her daughter? Why?
7. How do the town-folk treat her?
8. What is her relationship with the poor? How do they treat her? Why?
9. What does she see in others?
Chapter 6 (VI) Pearl
1. Why does she call her daughter Pearl?
2. Describe Pearl
3. Why does Hester have trouble disciplining Pearl?
4. How do the other children treat Pearl? What is Pearl’s response?
Chapter 7 (VII) The Governor’s hall
1. Why does Hester go see the governor?
2. Who lets her in?
3. How is Pearl described?
4. How is Pearl behaving?
Chapter 8 (VIII) The Elf-child and the Minister
1. Does Pearl know her catechism? Why does she respond thus to her questioner?
2. Who fights for Hester?
3. Who is put in charge of making sure Pearl learns what she should be taught?
4. What would have happened if things had gone the other way?
Chapter 9(IX) The Leech
1. What has Roger Chillingworth been doing?
2. Compare Chillingworth and Dimsdale
3. How is Chillingworth described at the end of the chapter? Why?
Chapter 10 (X) The Leech and his patient
1. What does Chillingworth set out to do?
2. Why can’t he be impartial?
3. Why doesn’t Dimsdale see Chillingworth for the fiend he has become?
4. Why would “black weeds” indicate hidden sin?
5. Why does Pearl throw the burr at Dimsdale?
6. Why does Dimsdale say Hester is better off to have the public know of her sin than to keep it hidden?
7. What does Roger see when he finds Dimsdale asleep?
Chapter 11(XI) The Interior of a heart
1. What does Chillingworth plan to do? Why?
2. How does Dimsdale react to Chillingworth? Why?
3. What is Dimsdale’s gift?
4. What does Dimsdale do in private?
5. What does he “want” to in public? Why doesn’t he?
Chapter 12 (XII) The Minister’s Vigil
1. What does Dimsdale decide o do?
2. What is the weather like?
3. Who sees him?
4. Where was everyone?
5. What does Pearl ask him? Why won’t he do it?
6. What does the meteor symbolize?
7. What is Dimsdale’s reaction to the glove and the Sexton’s version of the meteor’s meaning? Why?
Chapter 13 (XIII) Another view of Hester
1. How has Hester changed?
2. How has the symbol of the scarlet letter changed?
3. How has the shunning affected Hester?
4. Why does Hawthorne say “The scarlet letter had not done its office”
5. What is the relative position of Hester Prynne and Roger Chillingworth? Why?
6. What does she resolve to do?
Chapter 14 (XIV) Hester and the Physician
1. Where does Hester Prynne meet Roger Chillingworth?
2. Describe Chillingworth
3. What does Chillingworth say he has done for Dimsdale?
4. What does talking to Hester force Chillingworth to admit?
5. Why isn’t the punishment done?
6. What does Chillingworth say about forgiveness?
Chapter 15 (XV) Hester and Pearl
1. “He has done me a worse wrong than I have done him” Explain.
2. What has Pearl put on herself?
3. Why can’t her mother explain what it means?
Chapter 16 (XVI) A forest walk
1. Describe the conversation between Hester and Pearl.
Chapter 17 (XVII) The Pastor and his Parishioner
1. Where does Hester meet Dimsdale?
2. What does she tell him?
3. What does she want from him?
4. What do they resolve to do?
Chapter 18 (XVIII) A flood of sunshine
1. Why is the subtitle of this chapter A flood of sunshine?
2. What does Hester cast off?
Chapter 19 (XIX) The child at the brookside
1. How does Pearl react to Dimsdale? Why?
2. What does Pearl make her take back? Why?
Chapter 20 (XX) The Minister in a maze
1. What is the plan?
2. What happens in 3 days time? Why is it important?
3. Describe the walk home. Who does Dimsdale meet? What do they symbolize? What is his reaction?
4. Describe the conversation between Chillingworth and Dimsdale.
Chapter 21 (XXI) The New England Holiday
1. What is the holiday?
2. Describe the scene.
3. Who does Chillingworth speak to? Why?
4. What does the captain tell Hester?
Chapter 22(XXII) The Procession
1. How does Hester react to Dimsdale’s appearance? Why?
2. What does Pearl say about Dimsdale? What is her mother’s response?
3. What does Mistress Hibbins say to Hester? How does Hester react?
4. Where does Hester stand during Dimsdale’s speech?
5. What message does the Captain have for Pearl to give her mother?
5. How do people treat Hester? Is this different than they have been treating her? Why?
6. Who is missing from the original group of women (see chapter 2)? Why? What does she symbolize that is gone?
Chapter 23 (XXIII) The Revelation of the Scarlet letter
1. What is the town’s view of Dimsdale and his speech?
2. Physically, How is Dimsdale doing?
3. What does he want to do?
4. Who tries to stop him? Why?
5. What does Dimsdale say?
Chapter 24 (XXIV) Conclusion
1. What is the opinion of the town to Dimsdale’s final act?
2. What happens to Chillingworth? Why?
3. To whom does Chillingworth leave his property? Why? (infer)
4. What happens to Hester and Pearl?
5. Why does Hester return?
6. Describe the tombstone. Why is it this way?