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The Scarlet Letter Quizzes

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter Quiz 1

1. Hawthorne completed The Scarlet Letter in what year?

  • 1820
  • 1850
  • 1900
  • 1950

2. Why did Hawthorne write the Custom-House introduction to the novel?

  • he was interested in the economic side of adultery
  • he thought The Scarlet Letter was too short to print by itself
  • he wanted to describe how he "discovered" the manuscript
  • he wanted to write an autobiographical short story

3. The prison door best represents which of the following?

  • the strength of Hester's determination to live with her crime
  • an escape route for Hester
  • a dirty, rusted old door separating Hester from her daughter
  • Puritanical severity of law and the authority of the regime

4. The rosebush outside the prison door is a symbol of all of the following except:

  • Hester's passion
  • Puritanical punishment for moral crimes
  • Ann Hutchinson's tolerance of other religions
  • the wilderness surrounding Boston

5. The blossoms of the rosebush are metaphors for:

  • Pearl and the crime of the story
  • Pearl and the moral of the story
  • Dimmesdale's love for Hester
  • Hester's passion and her marriage to Roger Chillingworth

6. Hawthorne's portrayal of the Puritanical society is one of:

  • contradictory images and hypocrisy
  • support for the Puritan way of life
  • disgust with the Puritan way of life
  • none of the above

7. Hester has embroidered what symbol onto her dress?

  • a scarlet letter A
  • a bird for freedom
  • a rose blossom
  • a round pearl

8. What gesture does Reverend Dimmesdale make throughout the book?

  • rubs his brow
  • pulls at his shirt sleeves
  • raises his eyes to heaven
  • places his hand over his heart

9. All of the following ironies occur in the first scaffold scene except:

  • the irony that Hester is married to Chillingworth but has had a child with another man
  • the irony that Chillingworth chides Hester from the crowd, asking her to reveal the father
  • the irony that Dimmesdale is called upon to ask Hester who the father is
  • the irony that Pearl will bring Hester and Dimmesdale back together

10. Chillingworth pretends to be of what profession?

  • a doctor
  • a lawyer
  • a clergyman
  • an infantryman

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