Scarlet Letter Chapter 20-24 Questions and Answers

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Chapter 20
“The Minister in a Maze”
1. Where have Hester and Dimmesdale decided to go when they leave Boston ? Why do they choose to go to Europe rather than remain in the New World. He and Hester have decided to go to Europe, since it offers more anonymity and a better environment for Dimmesdale’s fragile health.

2. Why does Dimmesdale consider it fortunate that the ship is not to sail for 4 days? He wants to give his last final and most emotionally powerful sermon on Election Day.
3. Dimmesdale considers the timing of the ship's departure to be "most fortunate!" Why?
He was to preach the Election Sermon and he could not have chanced upon a more suitable mode and time of terminating his professional career. 4. How was Dimmesdale's trip return from the forest different that his departing trip through the forest?

He has much more energy than when he left only two days earlier, and everything looks different to him. Three times in a row he is approached by various people, and he struggles not to utter blasphemy. He is even tempted to teach dirty words to a group of small Puritan children.

5. Dimmesdale suddenly perceives that everything in the town is now different as he returns to it. What has happened?
He has a new perception of life and feels like a new man after his meeting with Hester.
6. Dimmesdale, as he walks through town to reach his dwelling, is suddenly struck by urges to do terrible things. What were the four instances in which he was tempted to do evil?
He encounters an elderly woman to whom he nearly blurts out a devastating “unanswerable argument against the immortality of the human soul,” but something stops him, and the widow totters away satisfied. He next ignores a young woman whom he has recently converted to the church because he fears that his strange state of mind will lead him to plant some corrupting germ in her innocent heart. Passing one of the sailors from the ship on which he plans to escape, Dimmesdale has the impulse to engage with him in a round of oaths. This comes only shortly after an encounter with a group of children, whom the minister nearly teaches some “wicked words.”

7. What is Dimmesdale's voyage through the town like in this chapter? He's full of temptation to corrupt everyone he passes by in town. 8. Why did Dimmesdale and Hester decide to leave for England instead of any place else?

They had decided that Europe, with its crowds and cities, offered them a better home and hiding place than anywhere in America, with its choice between an Indian dwelling and a few settlements along the coast. Also, with the minister’s gifts, refinement, and his education meant he needed to live in a civilized place, the more civilized, the better.

9. What did Mistress Hibbins accuse Dimmesdale of? What was Dimmesdale's response? She accused him of making a visit to the forest. He denies it. 10. Why did Hester and Dimmesdale decide to leave for England instead of somewhere else? ~SAME AS QUESTION 8~

Chapter 21 & Chapter 22
“The New England Holiday ” & “ The Procession”
1. What have the crowds of people gathered in the market-place to witness? The people are celebrating Election Day and gathered to witness the inauguration of the Governor.
2. What piece of unwelcome news does the master of the ship on which, she, Pearl , and Dimmesdale are to sail have for Hester?
The piece of unwelcome news, the master of the ship on which Pearl and Dimmesdale are to sail tells Hester is that Chillingworth will be joining them on their passage because the ship needs a doctor and Chillingworth has told the captain that he is a member of Hester's party.

3. Where does Hester stand during the procession and during Dimmesdale’s sermon in the church?
Hester takes Pearl and goes to stand near the foot of the scaffold in order to listen to Dimmesdale's speech.
4. Dimmesdale must cross a swamp to return to the scaffold. What happens in the swamp?
He falls inside and almost drowns.
6. Why does Pearl say...
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