The Scarlet Letter

  1. Which group of people takes a "peculiar interest" in the punishment that is about to take place in front of the jail?
    the women
  2. How does the narrator describe the Puritain women in contrast to the women in America several generations later?
    the puritan women were tougher morally and physically
  3. What objection does " a hard-featured dame of fifty" have to the sentence the magistrates have given Hester Prynne?
    She believes the sentence is too light that Hester Prynne should be more severely punished
  4. Who does the "dame" think would have given her a more appropriate sentence?
    she and her four friends
  5. What does the "dame" suggest as a more appropriate sentence for Hester Prynne?
    "At the very least the should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne's forehead"
  6. What is the punishment the magistrates have given Hester Prynne, to which the "dame" objects?
    some sort of mark on the bodice of her gown
  7. What warning does the ugliest woman give to the magistrates?
    "Then let the magistrates, who have made it of no effect thank themselves if their own wives and daughters go astray!"
  8. What does "Mercy on us, goodwife, is there no virtue in woman,save what springs from a wholesome fear of the gallows" mean?
    He is asking if women live righteously only out of fear of punishment
  9. What action does Hester Prynne take when the town deadle "lays his right hand upon her shoulder" to force her through the prison door?
    She shrugs him off as if to indicate that she is capable of walking on her own
  10. What is the age of the baby in Hesters arms when exit?
    3 months old
  11. Discribe Hester Prynne's physical appearance in details.
    Tall, a figure of perfect elegance, dark & abundant hair, lady like, with a beautiful face
  12. What did those who had known Hester before expected her to be when she emerged from prison?
    "expected to behold her dimmed and obscured by a disastrous cloud"
  13. How do the women in the crowd react to Hesters beautifully embroidered "Scarlet Letter"?
    They call her a "brazen hussy" and say that she has made "a pride out of what the magistrates meant for a punishment
  14. Who is sitting or standing on "a balcony of the meeting house, looking down upon the platform" where Hester is standing with her baby in her arms?
    the Governor and several of his counselors, a judge, a general, and the minister of the town
  15. What is the crowd's reaction that so unnerves Hester?
    "a thousand unrelenting eyes all fastened upon her and concentrated at her bosom"
  16. What is the reaction Hester would have preferred and been better able to tolerate?
    "a roar of laughter" from the crowd because then she could have "repaid them all with a bitter and disdainful smile"
  17. What is Hester contemplating as she stands upon the platform?
    "passsages of infancy and schooldays, sports, childish quarrels, and the little domestic traits of her maiden years" "her native village in Old England and her paternal home" "her fathers face" "her mothers too" "her own girlish beauty"
  18. What causes the baby to send forth a cry when Hester is on the platform?
    Hester clutched the child to fiercely to her breast
  19. Why does Hester Prynne touch the scarlet letter with her finger? What does she reaffirm from this gesture?
    Hester wants "to assure herself that the infant and the shame ar real" She cannot believe that "these are her realities" that this is really happening to her
  20. What physical deformity does the man in the crowd seem to possess?
    one of his shoulders is higher than the other
  21. What gesture does the man in the crowd make when he notices Hester Prynne staring at him? What is the meaning of this gesture?
    "he slowly and calmly raise his finger mad a gesture with it in the air and laid it on his lips" .

    he seems to be telling her to not act as if she recognizes him
  22. How does the man explain his confusion about why hester prynne is set up to public shame ?
    im a stranger and have been a wanderer sorely against my will. i have met with grievous mishaps by sea and land and have been long held in bonds among the heathen folk.. and am now brought hither by this indian to be redeemed out of my captivity
  23. What is the townsman's explanation as to why Hester is being punished?
    Two years ago Hesters husband sent her from Amsterdam to boston to find a place for them to live since hester has not seen her husband for two years the baby is obviously not his
  24. What does the townsman answer to the strangers question "who... may be the father of yonder babe"?
    Madam Hester absolutely ruseth to speak
  25. Give TWO reasons why the magistrates have not given Hester the death penalty for her sin
    1. Hester is young and beautiful and was strongly tempted

    2. Magistrates assume that Hesters husband is dead since he has not joined her in Boston after 2 years
  26. List TWO punishments the magistrates do give Hester
    1. Hester must stand for "three hours on the platform of the pillory"

    2. Wear a mark of shame upon her bosom for the rest of her life
  27. What promise does the stranger make concerning the babys father?
    He will be known
  28. Although Hester is horrified at the dreadful staring of the crowd how does the crowd provide a shelter for her?
    It was better than to meet face to face with the stranger
  29. When Rev. Dimmesdale finally gives in to the pressure to ask Hester to confess what sin does he say the father of the baby commits as long as he remains anonymous?
  30. What point does hester make about the only "father" that her child will know?
    "my child must seek a heavenly father she shall never know an earthly one"
Card Set
The Scarlet Letter
Johnsons English 3