Question and Answers on the Scarlet Letter

Topics: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne Pages: 13 (4425 words) Published: April 27, 2014
QUOTE TEST on THE SCARLET LETTER

Directions: Choose 5 of the quotes below and discuss (1) who said it (2) when it was said (what was the situation), and (3) what is the significance meaning importance to the ENTIRE WORK. Here discuss if the quote relates to character, theme, symbolism, irony, foreshadowing imagery, etc.

1. “Never!. . . And would that I might enfure his agony, as well as mine!”

2. “Thou wasn’t not bold!- thou wast not true!. . . Thou wouldst not promise to take my hand, and my mother’s hand, to-morrow noontide!”

3. “Let the black flower blossom as it may!”

4. “Truly, friend, and me thinks it must gladden your heart, after your troubles, and sojourn in the wilderness. . . to find yourself in a land where iniquity is searched out and punished as here in our godly New England.”

5. “But he will be known! - he will be known!- he will be known!”

6. “The door of the jail being flung open from within, there appeared, in the first place, like a black shadow emerging into the sunshine, the grim and grisly presence of the town beadle”

7. “He was violated, in cold blood, the sanctity of the human heart.”

8. “What we did had a consecration of its own.

9. “There was no one place so secret, no high place nor lowly place, wehre thou couldst have escaped me, - save on this very scaffold.”

10. “Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worst, yet some trait whereby the worst may be inferred.”

Here are some of the answers.
1. Hester is speaking. She is refusing to name the father of her child while on the scaffold. Her reply to the clergymen reveals her strength of character and loyalty to Dimmesdale. Although she feels shame, she is prepared to endure it alone. She is so loyal to her lover, she wishes she “could endure his agony for him.” This quotes shows a great deal about her character.

2. Pearl tells Dimmesdale this during his midnight visit to the scaffold. Pearl is stating one of Hawthorne’s themes: the open admission of one’s sin is preferable to hiding it. By hiding his sin, Dimmesdale will continue to suffer and deteriorate physically. This quote also shows Pearl’s character. She is precocious and too knowing.

3. Chillingworth says this while talking to Hester about his torturing of Dimmesdale. The black flower is a symbol just as black is symbolic of the Puritans. The “black flower” might contrast the “rose bush” which grew outside the prison door. This “black flower” may symbolize the hardness, the repressiveness of Puritan society. But again, the color black may also symbolize evil and dreadful consequence.

4. A townsman is talking to Chillingworth while Hester stands on the scaffold. There is irony in the speaker’s confidence that being in a palce where sinners are harshly punished should make one feel glad and happy. The reader might feel that healthy joy and happiness are impossible in such a harsh community.

5. Chillingwoth is speaking about finding out the father of Hester’s child when he first finds outa bout it. This foreshadows his actions later in the book. His constantly seeking revenge, and this promise will dominate his actions and character.

6. The simile “like a black shadow” shows an comparison between the beadle and the black imagery of the Puritan environment. A black shadow is threatening, foreboding, and oppressive. This image of black will continue throughout the book.

7 Dimmesdale believed that Roger Chillingworth is the worst sinner because he tried to detroy someone else's life, something that Dimmesdale has never done. This is Rev. Dimmesdale talking about the cold-hearted Chillingworth.Chillingworth maliciously betrayed Dimmsdale: Hester and Dimmesdale never betrayed anyone. She was alone and he was alone when they had their tryst. Chillighworth worked for years to win vengeance, but he never loved Hester. It was his pride that the affair between Hester and the Rev....
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