The Scarlet Letter Summary- Pages 1-50

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The Scarlet Letter is an intriguing yet somewhat gloomy story of an adulterous named Hester Prynne who has a child, Pearl, born out of wedlock. Her punishment is to wear a letter A for “adulterous” on her chest for a lifetime as well as imprisonment.

The setting takes place in dreary Boston, Massachusetts during the seventeenth century. It starts off outside the colonies prison, with the townsmen and women awaiting the exit of Hester Prynne, the adulterous of the town. As she walks out of the heavy prison door with infant in hand, she reveals to the crowd something far from ordinary. If a woman is told to wear the letter A as a form of punishment, she is usually very discontent with the unsettling public form of penalty. Hester, on the other hand, shows that she has decorated her A with scarlet and gold fanciful embroidery, proving that this sin is one she is not to be ashamed of. As she makes her way from the prison doorway to the scaffold to be publically looked down upon and humiliated for three hours, the crowd of men, women, and children yell at her with harsh words and rude language. In front of the public, a few of the town council members ask her whom the father of the child is, in which she will not tell. She recognizes her husband in the crowd of rioters; the man in which she did not love, but whom she was a token to. He again asks for the name of the man to which Pearl belongs, but yet again Hester Prynne does not give out that information. She is then escorted back to her cell in the prison.

A doctor is called to check on Pearl and Hester to make sure both are physically and somewhat emotionally healthy. The doctor, of course, turns out to be her husband. Roger Chillingworth, as he is now calling himself, gives a cup of medicine for Hester to give Pearl, as well as for Hester to take herself. Hester is very reluctant and first, assuming that it is a type of lethal remedy given out of hatred. He assures her that he wants her to live, only so he...
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