Take this time to construct a sigma in the shape of an “A.” It should be similar to Hester’s, but its colors should instead be tailored to your character traits and personality. Consult with the adjacent chart for assistance. You are to use two different colors; one for the body of the “A,” and the other for the outline of the figure. Construction paper and crayons will be provided for your convenience. After five minutes time, volunteers may share their creation with the class if they so choose. It is greatly encouraged that you so choose. Choose. WARM-UP
After their argument, Hester accepts her hatred for her former husband, even though such feelings of resentment are sinful. Hester leaves to go find Pearl, who has been playing in the tide pools at the beach. While there, Pearl finds some eelgrass, and proceeds in making her own “A,” one that is “freshly green, instead of scarlet.” This gets Hester’s attention, and Pearl is asked whether she understands the meaning of the letter. Pearl sees an association between the letter and Dimmesdale’s heart problems; a connection which astonishes Hester. Because of Pearl’s youth, Hester decides to withhold the significance and meaning of her letter. SOME OF RE: OF CH. 15
Hester tries to catch Dimmesdale in his travels through the forest in hopes to disclose Chillingworth’s true identity. Pearl goes along with her mother, and bounds with youthful restlessness in the sun along the way. The sunshine seems to avoid Hester, though, which draws the attention of Pearl. Pearl asks about the connection between the scarlet letter and the “Black Man;” a connection which was established through overhearing a woman mention that Hester’s letter is the mark of the “Black Man.” The two see Dimmesdale approaching, and Pearl asks if the coming figure was that of the “Black Man.” Hester tries to push Pearl away to play in the woods, by Pearl won’t go. Out of fatigue, Hester exclaims, “It is no Black Man!... It is the minister!” Pearl wonders aloud whether Dimmesdale clutches his heart because the “Black Man” has left his mark there as well. SOME OF RE: OF CH. 16
The truth shall set you free. Dimmesdale has been avoiding his sin for seven years at this point in the story, and the reader can see the detrimental effects on his body that the repression of the truth has incurred. Hester, on the other hand, has publicly confessed of her sin, and is in a much healthier state of being than Dimmesdale. One cannot be loyal to two or more conflicting parties. Hester is keeping Chillingworth’s demands to withhold his identity, while still valuing Dimmesdale’s well-being. Because of that, she suffers as much as any of the involved parties. If she would chose the path of lesser evil, then Hester could find solace in the state of the matter. THEMES
ROMANTICISM The eel grass which Pearl used to replicate her mother’s “A” was a beautiful combination of nature and ignorance that glorified the sigma’s aesthetic appeal. In a romantic sense, the forest is often dramatically portrayed as a secluded safe- haven; a nice location for reconciliation and the disclosure of the truth. However, in a more realistic view, the forest is commonly understood to be a place of unknown danger. PURITANISM Obviously, the severity to which Hester is punished for her adulteration (a low- to moderate-level offence by our standards) is due almost entirely to the Puritan society in which she the story takes place. Because of the theocratic principles of the Puritan Society of Boston during the 17 th century, religious patronage, participation and fervor were all greatly encouraged, if not mandatory, amongst its citizens. ROMANTIC & PURITAN IDEAS
Hester Prynne A courageous, passionate figure who is a woman of dignity and a woman of her word. She accepts (for the most part) the significance of her sin, and wears her punishment without shame. But, time has changed her into a harsher, more conforming individual. Pearl An energetic, cerebral child who is an image of sin and the good that can come from it. Some feel as though she is a bright spirit, while others still estimate that she is a product of the “Black Man.” Dimmesdale A man who values his nearly-spotless reputation above almost everything else. His sin has led him through a great deal of suffering, and his silence on this issue exasperates his stress-related health issues. Chillingworth A vengeful man who wants no more than to uncover the identity of Pearl’s father (inferring that Dimmesdale fills that position). He is a man not only of slight physical deformity, but also of progressive mental and emotional health issues. Pearl suspects that this is the “Dark Man.” CHARACTER ANALYSIS
Pearl only now makes note of the frequency by which Dimmesdale clutches his heart; a detail that was disclosed to the reader long beforehand. Hester and many of the townspeople maintained a state of ignorance toward this phenomenon up until these chapters, which contributes to the dramatic irony even further. The narrator maintains an omniscient third- person perspective, which implies their recognition of the thoughts and feelings of all characters, but insists that they are not directly involved in any part of the plot. However, it should be noted that the narrator expresses bias against the quirks and customs of Puritanism. IRONY & NARRATIVE VOICE
Light symbolizes truth in the forest. When the sunlight avoids Hester, it symbolizes Hester’s avoidance of the truth behind her “A.” The green of the eel weed with which Pearl made her own “A” represents youth and vitality, which conflicts with the themes of sin and oppression that the “A” itself bares. The color of the “Black Man” implies a state of chaos and corruption, but it also represents emptiness. Because the “Black Man” is an indefinite figure, he is void of identity. This is what allows him to cause anonymous mischief amongst the townspeople, or so they have established. SYMBOLISM & COLOR
1.Of what green material did Pearl construct her own “A?” 2.During Ch. 16, Dimmesdale was approaching Hester and Pearl in the forest. Who did Pearl think the approaching figure was? 3.How does Hester feel about having once been married to Chillingworth? In other words, does she love him, or hate him? 4.Was Hester capable of touching the sunlight as Pearl danced in the forest? 5.What is Dimmesdale’s first name? EXTRA CREDIT: 1.What type of shrubbery could be found in front of the prison door? QUIZ
Each team may now decide how much of their current winnings they are willing to wager for the final stage of the game. DOUBLE JEOPARDY
is on the next slide, actually YOUR FINAL QUESTION…
You and your team have two minutes to construct your best response. As the timer sounds, we will collect each team’s answer sheets. WHY?
Your participation and patience are greatly appreciated. YOUR SCORES ARE CURRENTLY BEING ASSESSED.
! PLOT TWIST
Many activities are considered to be sinful by those adhering to Puritan society. Gambling is one of the most notable sinful activities there are. Some of you have just wagered a large portion of your current earnings. This would not go over well in 16 th century Boston, as we’re sure you can imagine. Regardless of the large physical and chronological distances that stand between here and there, we will hold the same principles to be the righteous code of conduct. Therefore, the team who wagered the largest percentage of their earnings is the loser, regardless of their answers to any of the previous questions. The victor is the team who chose to conform most faithfully to the Puritan way of life. A REVIEW OF PURITAN IDEAS
Fa rill WHO CARES? EVERYONE GETS CANDY, HOMIES.