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Chapters 1-3 Study Guide the Scarlet Letter

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Chapters 1-3 Study Guide the Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter Study Guide Questions
Chapter 1 “The Prison Door”
1. What colony is the setting for the novel? Boston Massachusetts 2. Where in the colony does the opening chapter take place? In the jail 3. For what 2 “practical necessities” did the new colony set aside land? A cemetery and a prison. 4. Who is Anne Hutchinson? How does Hawthorne feel about her? Anne Hutchinson was a religious but freewheeling woman who disagreed with Puritanical teachings, and as a result she was imprisoned in Boston and then banished. She eventually was a founder of Rhode Island. Hawthorne claims that it is possible that the beautiful rosebush growing directly at the prison door sprang from her footsteps. This implies that Puritanical authoritarianism may be so rigid that it obliterates both freedom and beauty. 5. What 2 possible symbols does the rose have for the reader? A sweet moral blossom or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow.

Chapter 2 “The Market-Place”

1. Name 3 crimes and the punishments that the Puritans might witness. • Sluggish bondservant or an undutiful child who's parents had given them to the civil authority that would be corrected at the whipping post. • That an antinomian, a Quaker, or other heterodox religionist, was to be run out of the town, or an idle and vagrant indian, whom the white man's firewater had made riotous about the streets, was to be driven with stripes into the shadow of the forest. • That a witch, like old mistress hibbins, the bitter-tempered widow of the magistrate, was to die at the gallows. 2. What is the relationship between religion and law in Puritan New England? Religion was the Puritans law. If you committed a sin, it was as if you had committed a crime within the community 3. Describe the Puritan women. Use one quote from the book to support your answer. Hawthorne describes the women who wait for Hester's public shaming to begin as "the ugliest as well as the most pitiless of these...