Scarlet Letter Notes

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The Scarlet Letter: from A to z.
Journal # 1

Reading:

The Marketplace, The Recognition, The Interview

Journal Notes [see end of document for format criteria]:
1. Select distinguishing characteristics and remarks for Hester Prynne, Rev. Dimmesdale and the stranger/physician. 2. Track how the crowd treats Hester/her punishment
3. Note Hawthorne’s references to Puritan living and how they indicate bias towards their actions and beliefs. 4. Vocabulary (you will have a quiz at the end of Ch. 12 and 24.)

Journal Entry [see end of document for format criteria]:
Discuss the contrasts in settings (market place vs. prison) and how they affect character, plot development or theme through the first three chapters.

A A A A A A A A A A A A A
The Scarlet Letter: from A to z.
Journal # 2

Reading :

Hester at her Needle, Pearl

Journal Notes:
1. Note suggestions that the public has not relented in their treatment of Hester. 2. Note suggestions that Hester has not relented in punishing herself. 3. Suggest parallels between Pearl’s temperament/appearance and her origin. 4. Vocabulary (you will have a quiz at the end of Ch. 12 and 24.)

Journal Entries:
1. Consider how/why Pearl’s name is an appropriate one for Hawthorne to give to Hester’s child. OR

2. Critics have called Pearl, “half-child, half-literary symbol.” How does Chapter VI serve to start this argument? The Scarlet Letter: from A to z.
Journal # 3

Reading :

The Governor’s Hall, The Elf-Child and the Minister

Journal Notes:
1. Note how Hawthorne has “romanticized” the Governor’s Hall (what seems out of the ordinary, given your knowledge of Puritan “tastes”?) 2. Establish links between Chapter 8 and Chapter 1.

3. Elf-Child? Offer suggestions why/how Pearl fits this moniker. 4. Vocabulary (you will have a quiz at the end of Ch. 12 and 24.)

Journal Entries:
1. How has Hester’s TONE towards Dimmesdale changed from her first conversation with him in the marketplace to this most recent one in Chapter 8 ? AND
2. How is Dimmesdale able to convince the Magistrates that Hester is a fitting mother? How is this evidence corroborated, in a way, by Hester’s encounter with Mistress Hibbins?

A A A A A A A A A A A A A

The Scarlet Letter: from A to z.
Journal # 4

Reading :

The Minister’s Vigil, Another View of Hester, Hester and the Physician, Hester and Pearl

Journal Notes:
1. Track how Pearl continues to operate on two different levels (child and literary symbol). 2. Consider permutations of/ possibilities for the symbolic value of the letter “A.” 3. Note the shift in the balance of power between Chillingworth and Hester. 4. Is Hester starting to be true to her own feelings? Record evidence yes/no. 5. Vocabulary (you will have a quiz at the end of Ch. 12 and 24.)

The Scarlet Letter: from A to z.
Journal # 4 (Continued)

Journal Entries:
1. Discuss Crucifixion parallels in The Minister’s Vigil. (Hint: I would pick up a New Testament here if I were researching this topic: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.) AND
2. In Another View of Hester, we notice her transition from adulteress (sinner) to free thinker (heretic); which Hester do you suppose is more repulsive to the Puritan community? How does Hawthorne address this transition symbolically?

A A A A A A A A A A A A A

The Scarlet Letter: from A to z.
Journal # 5

Reading

A Forest Walk, The Pastor and His Parishioner

Journal Notes

1. Where do we see connections to Longfellow’s Forest Primeval in Ch. 16? 2. What about the forest as a battleground for the forces of good and evil? (Or light and darkness?) 3. Highlight Rhetorical devices in Hester’s speech to Dimmesdale (pp. 152-54) 4. Vocabulary (you will have a quiz at the end of Ch 24.)...
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