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In seventeenth-century Boston, Hester Prynne carries her baby, Pearl, out of the local town prison onto a scaffold to be publicly humiliated. Hester wears a Scarlet Letter “A” on her chest meaning she committed adultery. The town fathers of the Puritan community try forcing her to confess who the father of Pearl is but she refuses and keeps it a secret to protect the man. While being taunted by the town, she notices her husband, Chillingworth, in the crowd. He ends up bringing them medicine until they are released from the prison. Hester and Pearl then move to a cottage on the outskirts of the town. Hester does embroidering for the town to make a living while Pearl grows up. Chillingworth moves in with the town minister, Dimmesdale, whom he soon finds out is Pearl’s father. Dimmesdale grows in guilt as Chillingworth messes with him  making his life miserable. One night Dimmesdale met Pearl and Hester on the scaffold where they were once publicly shamed. They see an “A” in the sky and wonder if it means “adulterer” or “angel.”Characters: Hester Prynne is a woman who wears the Scarlet Letter “A” on her chest because she committed adultery. She is a very strong character which is proven when she stays in the community even after being publicly humiliated. Pearl is the daughter of Hester and Dimmesdale. She is a very sassy and moody little girl who often says things that most young girls wouldn’t say such as this quote, “‘the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on our bosom.'” She is seen by the townspeople as being the daughter of the devil. She is important to the novel because experts say that she is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s voice throughout the story. Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s husband, is hungry for revenge on Minister Dimmesdale. He is a very intelligent man who will stop at nothing to make life miserable for Dimmesdale as shown in this quote, “a quiet depth of malice…which led him to imagine a more intimate revenge than any mortal had ever wreaked upon an enemy.” Reverend Dimmesdale is a very emotional man who is eventually driven to death with all his guilt. Setting:The story takes place in seventeenth-century Boston, in a Puritan town. The setting starts on a scaffold outside of the prison doorThemes:Sin is a major theme throughout the novel. Puritans believed that everyone was born a sinner. This resulted in all the townspeople keeping a stern watch over each other. Hester, Chillingworth, and Dimmesdale are all abused throughout the story for sinning. Hester disobeys the strict Puritan rules by committing adultery. She has a chance to conform to society by admitting who her child’s father is, but she refuses which causes her to be punished and humiliated. Because the Puritan world is so strict, people are always so worried about conforming and fitting into society. Hester tries to break the norm by being individualistic. Another theme throughout the story is guilt. Guilt is embedded throughout the story as seen in Hester and Dimmesdale as they are constantly reminded of the sin that could not be forgotten by the Puritan town. These three factors all contribute to the theme Hawthorne illustrates throughout his novel. Symbols: The Scarlet Letter contains a glaring symbol within the literal “Scarlet Letter” on the bosom on Hester Prynne. On the Letter it displays vivid Scarlet red to symbolize her passion. Throughout the novel, Hester’s will to create a future and better life for her daughter, Pearl is a constant reminder to the audience of The Scarlet Letter. The rose bush that grew in front of the prison symbolizes the hope that can come amidst the sin that weighs heavily on Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale. Although the pain challenges this symbol, it foreshadows how the hope is fulfilled by Pearl. Pearl is a living symbol and constant reminder of Hester and Dimmesdale’s sin. It’s ironic because pearls are usually associated with fancy, rich, and clean things; however, the Puritans see her as a demon child. Experts say that she is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s voice throughout the novel.Analysis of Author’s Style: •Anaphora: “‘I, whom you behold in these black garments of the priesthood, — I, who…I, whose…'”(Chapter 11).•Archaic Language: “Yonder woman…who had long ago dwelt in Amsterdam, whence some good time agone he was minded to cross over”(Chapter 3).•Imagery: “…with a radiant halo, that glorified him amid this gloomy night of sin…”(Chapter 12).•Metaphor: “…the black shadow and the untempered light, of the intervening substance”(Chapter 6).•Personification: “This was a large wooden house, built in fashion of which there are specimens still extant in the streets of elder towns…”(Chapter 7).•Simile: “A writhing horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them…”(Chapter 3).•Symbolism: A rose bush is an example of symbolism representing sin. Pearl claims she was “plucked by her mother off the bush of wild roses, that grew by the prison door”(Chapter 8). 

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