Task 2 Pre-Final Read the“The Scarlet Letter”by Nathaniel Hawthorne then answer the following questions. Nathaniel Hawthorne, (born July 4, 1804,Salem,Massachusetts, U.S.— died May 19, 1864,Plymouth, New Hampshire), American novelist and short- story writer who was a master of the allegorical and symbolic tale. One of the greatest fiction writers inAmerican literature, he is best known forThe Scarlet Letter(1850) andThe House of the Seven Gables(1851). The Scarlet Letter (See full text, pdf file on Googleclassroom, Ebook) Questions to ponder: 1. What does the "A" represent? What does Hester mean when she says the letter is her"passport into regions where other women dared not tread"? Originally intended to mark Hester as an adulterer, the “A” eventually comes to stand for “Able.” Finally, it becomes indeterminate: the Native Americans who come to watch the Election Day pageant think it marks her as a person of importance and status. The quote focuses around one of Hawthorne’s central theme of sin and knowledge.Because Hester has sinned, she has knowledge of others and can see the sin within them.Unlike Dimmesdale, who still must hide his sin and therefore can never own it, Hester’s scarlet letter not only is her atonement for her sin, it also allows her to be bold and experience things that other members of the town cannot. 2. Why wasn't Arthur Dimmesdale punished to the same degree as Hester?
Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale suffered more than Hester because, unlike Hester, he had nothing to live for and because of the guilt he had to keep hidden. Dimmesdale does not confess that he has committed a sin with Hester, and for a brutal seven whole years, he withholds his guilt inside of him. Hester deserved to be punished for her sin, however, under her circumstances, Hester deserved a lesser punishment. Most believed Hester’s husband was dead at sea and would never return. This fact alone lessens the severity of Hester’s adulterous act. 3. Hawthorne's story is considered a parable, a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. What's the lesson of this story? Be true, don’t hide your sin, reveal your true self, your innermost heart to anyone even to your love one and to your friends so that you will not be separated from the world by your sin. 5. Does committing adultery with a "man of the cloth" constitute a worse crime than with a layman? ‘Yes’, Dimmesdale is a clergyman, he has a higher position in church and many people has higher respect to him in their society, then layman although he is alsoinchurch, but he doesn’t act professionally. 6. Why does Chillingworth (the long-lost husband) assume a new identity, and threaten Hester to never reveal he is her husband in this tight-knit Puritan culture? He is calling himself Roger Chillingworth. He does not reveal himself because he wants to take revenge, he feels anger toward whoever
has been sleeping with his wife and he wants to get back at them. If
he revealed himself, he would not be able to achieve this. Hester only accepts to do it perhaps out of fear, or because she knows that disclosing this information would make matters worse for everybody involved. 7. Describe the significance of Hester's tombstone epitaph,"On a field, sable, the letter A, gules" (On a field, black, the letter A, red). Is she marking herself for all eternity? Some witnesses swear they saw an “A” on his chest, but can’t confirm it. When she dies, Hester is buried near Dimmesdale with the gravestone epitaph, “On a field, sable, the letter A, gules” (On a field, black, the letter A, red). Chillingworth gives up on revenge, dies, and leaves Pearl a large inheritance. 8. Speculate about the significance or symbolism of Hester naming her daughter "Pearl." What do you think her future holds after Hester's death? Hester names her child Pearl because of the Bible verse in Matthew 13:46, “Where the pearl cost everything a person has, but is worth the great price.” Hester loses everything she has by having Pearl, and hopes she is rewarded by her baby later on.
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