Name: Date: Quiz name: The Scarlet Letter, Chapters 1
Hester Prynne's relationship with Dimmesdale is key to Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Dimmesdale represented the life that Hester might have led if . Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson In the forest, Hester and Dimmesdale are finally able to escape both the Up to this point, the narrator withheld any sentimental and tender aspects of the couple's relationship from the reader, CHARACTERS; Hester Prynne: Character Analysis. Because Dimmesdale is incapable of confessing that he was Hester's lover and that he is Pearl's father — the one act necessary to his salvation — he.
It was in this mood that he started The Scarlet Letter. He left his wife and daughter in Philadelphia and fled to Peabody for help. Peabody responded by going to Philadelphia in an attempt to gain guardianship of the daughter. She followed Peabody back to Boston and confronted her husband.
In response, Peabody and Kraitsir tried to get her committed to a lunatic asylum. Hawthorne must have known there was historical precedence for The Scarlet Letter. A similar law was enacted in Salem. She was married to Stephen Batchellor, a minister over 80 years old. One day, while trying to encourage the despondent writer "'Who would risk publishing a book for me, the most unpopular writer in America?
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- Name: Date: Quiz name: The Scarlet Letter, Chapters 1
He said he bet Hawthorne had already written something new and that it was in one of the drawers. Nathaniel Hawthorne's parable about hypocrisy and punishment is set in the early days of Puritan America, two centuries before its publication in It opens with one of the most memorable images of social stigma ever printed on the page: Hester Prynne is led from a prison door, carrying an infant and wearing a scarlet "A" she has meticulously embroidered.
She mounts a platform in the public square--Hawthorne pointedly calls it a "scaffold"--where she is reviled and remonstrated by the townspeople. Although the punishment might have been seen as mere ridicule in his day, Hawthorne says, in Puritan New England it was "invested with almost as stern a dignity as the punishment of death itself. The Scarlet Letter is much more than a metaphor for searing stigma.
Hester Prynne and her daughter Pearl are the archetypal unwed mother and illegitimate child in American social history.
Before the story begins, we learn, Hester had been married in Europe to a dried-up, pretentious, academic sort who sent her ahead to America, intending to follow. He got hung up pursuing his fruitless studies, and after a couple of years, everyone, including Hester, presumed he lay dead at the bottom of the sea. Hester and her minister--yes, Puritan minister--Arthur Dimmesdale, had fallen in love and had relations.
Dimmesdale had a crisis of conscience.
The Scarlet Letter
Dimmesdale never does have as the story progresses is the courage, or necessity, to own up to his adultery or his fatherhood. While Hester is forced to stand for hours before the censorious community, Governor Bellingham directs Dimmesdale to use his priestly persuasive powers on Hester to make her name the child's father.
Accord ing to the notes in my edition, Hawthorne's prototype for his fictional governor and upholder of the law was a real Massachusetts governor of the same name. In Bellingham married a woman already betrothed to a friend of his and performed the ceremony himself in a rush job, so as to avoid going through the required publication of marriage intentions. When asked to step down from the bench during an inquest about his breach of law, he refused.
Thus, Hawthorne shows us "a people amongst whom religion and law were almost identical," inflicting a punishment equivalent to death on a woman, through the offices of their minister and their governor, each of whom has transgressed the same laws for which Hester is to be banished from human society.
Hester pays dearly for her and Dimmesdale's love.
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Unlike him, she cannot conceal the fact of her adulterous sex because she cannot hide her pregnancy. She cannot flee from the fact of her motherhood because the child is in her and issues from her. And she cannot escape parenthood, because no one else is going to take care of the child and child abandonment is frowned upon. Dimmesdale pays, too, but his is a very private penance.
He is eaten by guilt and dies near the end of the novel. She is marked from the get-go, presumed by the Puritans to be the child of the devil. Even Hester absorbs the social view that nothing good can issue from a woman who was in a state of sin when the child was "imbibing her soul.
She does eventually grow up to lead an apparently prosperous life--but only by escaping from her home and living in England. So it is today with what is now called the illegitimacy problem: The stigma of nonmarital sex, the identity as biological parent, and the work of child rearing almost always fall on the women. In the absence of an omniscient narrator, the fathers often remain invisible, at least to the public eye. Like Pearl, illegitimate children are regarded as predestined to a life of waywardness.
Now, however, we cite statistical probabilities instead of the devil as the cause of their propensity to crime, drug abuse, dropping out of school, going on the dole, and having more out-of-wedlock children. Many conservatives seem to have adopted The Scarlet Letter as a primer on what to do about illegitimacy.
Mothers of illegitimate children should be heaped with scorn for neglecting, abandoning, and abusing their children. They are irresponsible and immoral for "getting pregnant," as though they did it all by themselves. In Hawthorne's Puritan Salem, at least, Dimmesdale would have been held equally responsible and immoral, had he been found out.
The way to deter people from having illegitimate children is to do what Salem did to Hester: Thus, the Republican Personal Responsibility Act would eliminate AFDC eligibility for young women who bear children outside marriage, and it would preclude any additional monies for women already on AFDC who bear another child.
The double standard of The Scarlet Letter still prevails. Both the Republican and Democratic versions of welfare reform pay lip service to holding fathers more accountable, but both treat mothers far more harshly. Both plans, like Governor Bellingham, talk tough about establishing paternity. Mothers will have to cooperate with the state in identifying fathers and establishing paternity.
The Republican bill, strikingly, does not add a thing to existing child support enforcement tools or provisions.
Neither bill sets up work requirements, much less job programs, for fathers. So beyond identifying more fathers, what will welfare reform do to men?
At its toughest, it might succeed at getting the courts to order more child support, but whether it will get more money to kids is another question. Nothing in the Republican reforms creates more jobs, more job stability, or higher wages for men. States would, however, be allowed to use money they would otherwise spend for food stamps to subsidize private sector jobs.
And perhaps even more important, nothing in the contemplated welfare reforms is addressed to increasing fathers' involvement with their kids.The Scarlet Letter - Characters - Nathaniel Hawthorne
How long must Hester wear the scarlet letter? A The rest of her life B Until she reveals the name of her lover C Until she moves away D All of the above What seems to particularly disturb the stranger after he has learned of the sentence imposed on Hester? A That she get to stand on the scaffold fully clothed B That her baby was not executed at birth C That she is standing on the scaffold without her lover D That he was too late to save her Where is Roger Chillingworth, the "Stranger" of chapter 3, to lodge while the authorities work out his ransom?
Why does Hester at first resist Chillingworth's attempts to give her child medicine? What promise does Chillingworth exact from Hester? A That she will not have a physical relationship with another person for the rest of her life B That she will reveal the name of her lover and the father of her child within one year C That she will not tell anyone of their prior relationship and that he is her husband D That she will not remain silent and not reveal the name of her lover Page 2 of 3