Ch. 1 “The Prison Door” In chapter 1, “The Prison Door”, there is very little action. The author uses this first chapter to describe the setting and introduce some major symbols. Men and women are standing outside of the prison. In every new colony, the founders always and almost immediately made a place for a prison and a cemetery, which is why the prison, particularly the prison door, looks so old compared to the rest of the market-place. The door is heavy, wooden and the iron work is covered in rust. But, in great contrast to the door, there is a wild rosebush next to it, which is blooming this June. The rosebush is hoped to symbolize a “sweet moral blossom” in this dark story of a humanity’s sorrow.
Ch. 2 “The Market-Place” In chapter 2, “The Market-Place”, the author first introduces us to the main character, Hester Prynne. A large mass of people are gathered in the market-place waiting to see Hester Prynne. The women in the crowd are already poking fun and gossiping about her. Then, Hester Prynne comes out of the prison door, holding a child, and makes her way to the scaffold. The women continue to scorn her, mostly for the decorative “A” on her chest. The “A” is being worn as punishment, standing for “Adulterer”. As Hester stands on the scaffold, another part of her punishment, the crowd talks about and scorns her as she seems to embrace her sin, rather than be ashamed of it. She begins to flashback to her childhood in England and is amazed at how she got to where she is today, being punished for adultery.
Themes The major theme in these two chapters is SIN. In the first chapter we see that the founders of a new colony knew that there was going to be sin present in the colony no matter what they did to prevent it, which is why the prison and cemetery were usually the first institutions built. In the second chapter, Hester Prynne is being punished for her sin but embraces it rather than being ashamed of it.
Romantic vs Puritan Ideas Romantic The romantic idea present in these two chapters is the glorification of nature. We find this in the first chapter when the author emphasizes the rosebush outside the prison door and the weeds on the cemetery. Puritan Two Puritan ideas present The first is that all people are born with sin, which is another reason why the founder of early New England settlements built a prison and cemetery almost immediately in the their new colonies. Sin should be sought out and exposed so that it can be punished publicly to help the sinner and be an example for others.
Character Analysis Hester Prynne: Main character introduced in the second chapter. Tall, dark hair, beautiful, “a figure of perfect elegance” Accepts her sin as a part of herself Came to the New World from England Her husband has not yet made it to Boston Has an illegitimate child
Literary Devices Symbolism: The rosebush outside of the prison door symbolizes a “sweet moral blossom” that relieves the darkening close of a humanity’s sorrow. Imagery: The author uses a ton of imagery in the first chapter especially to describe the prison door Connotation vs Denotation Connotative meaning is what we think when we hear a word or phrase Denotative meaning is the actual dictionary definition of a word A lot of times they are greatly different
Quiz 1. What are usually the first two institutions built in early New England settlements? 2. Why do the women criticize the “A” on Hester Prynne’s top? 3. What is Hester Prynne holding on the scaffold? 4. What does Hester flashback to while standing on the scaffold? 5. According to Puritan belief, do people develop sin as they get older, or are they born with it? 6. Where does the second chapter take place?
GAME TIME TRIVIAL PURSUIT SPLIT UP INTO TWO TEAMS
RULES Each team will have a red “A”. I will ask a question and the first person to stand on the scaffold (the chair) with the “A” will get to answer. The question could be about anything. If the answer is wrong, the other team will have 10 seconds to give an answer. The team with the most questions answered correctly will be given smarties. The team that lost will receive dum-dums.
1. What wood was the prison door made out of? OAK
2. The grass plot in front of the prison door was NOT overgrown with… A. BURDOCK B. PIG WEED C. CRABGRASS D. APPLE-PERU
3. What kind of flowers grew on the rose-bush? ROSES
4. How old was Hester Prynne’s child in the second chapter? 3 MONTHS
5. Who won this years Super Bowl? SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
6. Why did Hester Prynne’s child start crying on the scaffold? a. THE CROWD WAS TOO LOUD b. SHE NEEDED A NEW DIAPER c. SHE WAS HUNGRY d. HESTER SQUEEZED HER TOO TIGHTLY
7. How long does Hester Prynne have to wear the “A” on her bosom? HER ENTIRE LIFE