The Scarlet Letter Socratic Seminar Questions

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The Scarlet Letter Socratic Seminar Questions

By | September 2013
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Question 1: How does the novel reflect Puritan society?
English Protestants created a large group of people in the 16th and 17th centuries called the Puritans. These people advocated strict religious discipline along with a strong beliefs and worshipping. The Scarlet Letter reflected on Puritan Society in several ways, from religion to discipline and punishment. Religion seemed to control everyone, the reverend was the person that everyone looked up to, and the community, as a whole, believed in fate and destiny. Puritan relationships were very restricted, therefore making adultery a terrible sin in the eyes of the community. In the 17th century, Boston was extremely strict and the laws were strongly enforced, making Hester’s sin a great example of the consequences the Puritans suffered. Public displays of punishment were used to both teach the criminal a lesson and to show the other members of the community that what was done shouldn’t be repeated. Question 2: Complete a character analysis of the three main characters: Hester, Arthur, and Roger. Hester: In this novel, Hester is the protagonist. She is also the mother of Pearl. Due to her adulterous affair with Arthur Dimmesdale, she is forced to wear the Scarlet A on her chest as a punishment. Roger Chillingworth is Hester’s husband, but when he is away in Amsterdam is when Hester has her affair with Arthur, and Pearl is conceived. Hester never fully comes to terms with her punishment because she doesn’t understand how she can lose everything including her home, her love, and her religion, all for following her heart. Arthur: A well respected man and minister of Boston who also happens to be the father of Pearl. While Hester is suffering her adulterous consequences, Arthur sits back quietly because nobody knows that he is Pearls father. Throughout the novel, he is reminded of the guilt and shame of the affair by Hester’s husband. At the end of the book, he confesses to being the father and also admits that...
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