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The Scarlet Letter Study Guide

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter study guide contains a biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Hester is being led to the scaffold, where she is to be publicly shamed for having committed adultery. Hester is forced to wear the letter A on her gown at all times. She has stitched a large scarlet A onto her dress with gold thread, giving the letter an air of elegance. Hester carries Pearl, her daughter, with her. On the scaffold she is asked to reveal the name of Pearl's father, but she refuses. In the crowd Hester recognizes her husband from Amsterdam, Roger Chillingworth.

Chillingworth visits Hester after she is returned to the prison. He tells her that he will find out who the man was, and he will read the truth on the man's heart. Chillingworth then forces her to promise never to reveal his true identity as her cuckolded husband.

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