Hester Prynne Why does she decide to remain in Boston? Why does she keep Chillingworth’s promise? What do these two choices reveal about her? Has anything positive come from this punishment?
Hester’s “New Sense” At the end of chapter five, the narrator states that Hester feels “as much alone as if she inhabited another sphere, or communicated with the common nature by other organs and senses than the rest of humankind”(74). He adds that “these emotions seemed to be the sole portion that she retained in the universal heart,” and that “the scarlet letter had endowed her with a new sense,” one that has given her “a sympathetic knowledge of the hidden sin in other hearts”(75-76). –What is the narrator telling us about Hester? Do you read this as a positive or negative consequence of her punishment? How does she understand it? –BONUS: This seems reminiscent of Emerson. How so?
Pearl First, how do you picture her? Find as many descriptions of Pearl as you can. Note the page numbers. How does Hawthorne wish us to see her? Identify Hester’s feelings about Pearl. How does she explain Pearl’s personality and behavior to herself?
The Governor’s Mansion What do you make of the encounter between Pearl and Dimmesdale in Chapter 8? What might be the purpose of Hawthorne’s detailed descriptions of the Governor’s mansion?
The Leech What is a “leech”? Why is Chillingworth so repeatedly referred to as the “leech”? What is the nature of his relationship with Dimmesdale? Why does he take such an interest in the reverend?
A Reading A Reading… Read the following: “Not the less, however…books”(110). Also, read the description of Chillingworth on page 113. HomeworkHomework - Read chapters 10, 11 and 12