The Scarlet Letter Study Guide

The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter is the story of Hester Prynne, a young Puritan woman who has had an illegitimate child. Despite being publicly humiliated by wearing a large scarlet letter 'A' on her dress, Hester refuses to reveal the identity of her child's father, even as the vindictive newcomer Chillingworth becomes determined to make her confess. This story explores the themes of sexual liberation, sin, and vengeance.

What grows to one side of the prison door?

  • Sunflowers
  • A willow tree
  • A rose-bush
  • Nothing

Which one of these is NOT mentioned by the narrator as a possible prisoner?

  • A sluggish bond-servant
  • A misbehaving slave
  • An undutiful child
  • A heterodox religionist

How long must Hester sit on the platform?

  • 1 hour
  • 3 hours
  • 5 hours
  • 12 hours

Where had Chillingworth been immediately before arriving in Boston?

  • An Indian community
  • England
  • Amsterdam
  • Another settlement to the north.

The first person to mention Arthur Dimmesdale is:

  • A townsperson, speaking with Chillingworth
  • The town beadle, speaking to the crowd
  • The Reverend John Wilson, speaking to Hester
  • An old woman, speaking to her friends

How long must Hester sit on the platform?

  • 1 hour
  • 3 hours
  • 5 hours
  • 12 hours

How does Hester make a living?

  • Weaving
  • Knitting
  • Needlework
  • Baking

What is NOT used to describe Pearl?

  • Shallow
  • Mutable
  • Flighty
  • Creative

What does Pearl want at the Governor's house that Hester refuses to give her?

  • A pair of gloves
  • A rose
  • A piece of cake
  • A kitten

When the sunshine hits the Governor's mansion it looks like against the front someone has thrown what?

  • Glass
  • Sand
  • Rubies
  • Diamonds

What color is Pearl wearing when she visits the Governor's mansion?

  • White
  • Red
  • Green
  • Black

What are Dimmesdale and Chillingworth discussing when Dimmesdale gets very upset and leaves the room?

  • Hester and Pearl
  • Death and the afterlife
  • Puritanism
  • Dimmesdale's health

While Dimmesdale is asleep in his study, Chillingworth:

  • Reads his personal papers
  • Takes a book from him
  • Looks at his chest
  • Puts a mixture into his glass

Dimmesdale biomes famous primarily for his:

  • Knowledge
  • Eloquence
  • Experience
  • Advice

Who does Dimmesdale wish to call out (BUT does not) to while he sits on the scaffold in the middle of the night?

  • Rev. Wilson
  • Gov. Bellingham
  • Mistress Hibbins
  • Hester

Where does Hester see Dimmesdale that makes her realize she must tell him about Chillingworth?

  • In his study
  • On the scaffold
  • In the woods
  • In church

What is Dimmesdale returning from when Hester meets him in the forest?

  • A deathbed
  • A wedding
  • Another settlement
  • A visit to a missionary

How old is Pearl when Hester and Dimmesdale meet in the forest?

  • 6 years old
  • 7 years old
  • 9 years old
  • 10 years old

In what part of Pearl's appearance does she seem to take after Dimmesdale?

  • Her eyes
  • Her nose
  • Her brow
  • Her hair

Where do Hester and Dimmesdale plan to go?

  • Bristol
  • France
  • London
  • Germany

What is happening on the day of Dimmesdale's last sermon?

  • A market-day
  • A town meeting
  • A funeral
  • An election

Who is Chillingworth seen talking to when Hester visits the market-place for the last time?

  • Dimmesdale
  • A sea-captain
  • An Indian
  • Rev. Wilson

Dimmesdale's last sermon is about:

  • The elect
  • Heaven and hell
  • Forgiveness
  • New England

Where does Dimmesdale die?

  • In church
  • On the scaffold
  • In his study
  • In the woods

Where is Hester buried?

  • In England
  • Near her house
  • Next to Pearl

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