1. What relationships does
this sort opening chapter suggest among these major themes:
2. What kind of relationship does the narrator establish with the reader?
1. What is the significance of the title of this chapter? What does it suggest about the
character of Hester's punishment and the society punishing her?
2. The narrator is careful
to point out differences between his own time and those of
3. What do we learn about Hester's life history in this chapter?
1. What does the narrator
think about the men sitting in judgment of Hester?
2. Describe the character
of Dimmesdale. What special powers does his voice have?
3. What symbolic power does the scarlet letter develop as a result of Rev. Wilson's sermon?
1. Why is this chapter suspenseful?
2. What does this chapter revel about the character and intentions of Roger Chillingworth?
3. What kind of marriage did
Roger and Hester have, and why does Roger tell her
1. What reasons does the narrator offer for why Hester chooses to stay in Boston?
2. Why does the needlework
of Hester--an infamous sinner--become the fashion of the
3. What role does the
scarlet letter play in society? What special insight into others
1. What are some of the distinctive
qualities and strange behaviors of Pearl? Are these
2. In this chapter and
in Chapter V., comment on Hawthorne's method of narration.
1. Discuss the meaning of
Hester's statement to Pearl, "Thou must gather thine own sunshine.
2. In what ways does Pearl
embody the scarlet letter? In what fundamental way is she
3. What does Hester mean when
she says "Pearl keeps me here in life"? What evidence does
4. Compare and contrast the
significance of Pearl's various actions: her reaching
5. In what fundamental way
has Rev. Wilson's position toward Hester's sin (and fellow sinner)