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"Here, in a word- and it is a rare instance in my life- I had met with a person thoroughly adapted to the situation which he held."
~Perhaps by the end of the novel Hester will be content with her situation.

"This rag of scarlet cloth, -- for time, and where, and a sacrilegious, had rendered it to little other than a rag,-- on careful examination, assumed the shape of a letter."
~This is a verbose description of the scarlet letter that Hester is condemned to wear.

"This old town of Salem-- my native place, though I have dwelt much away from it, both in my boyhood and mature years-- possesses, or did possess, a hold on my affections, the force of which I have never realized during my seasons of actual residence here."
~His feelings towards his hometown are much like my own. I've lived many places besides the place I was born, but I do have a certain attachment to it. At the same time, there is an underlying distaste for the city of my birth.

Chapter 1

-"The Prison Door" is holding Hester back from the world both symbolically and literally. It plainly prevents her from leaving the prison. At the same time she is prevented from connecting with anyone emotionally because they are unwilling associate with someone of her sinful status.

Chapter 2
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-"Heard it Through the Grapevine" -Marvin Gaye
Ooh, I bet you're wondering how I knew
About you're plans to make me blue
With some other guy that you knew before.
Between the two of us guys
You know I love you more.
It took me by surprise I must say,
When I found out yesterday.
Don't you know that...

I heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine.
Oh I heard it through the grapevine,
Oh and I'm just about to lose my mind.
Honey, honey yeah.

I know that a man ain't supposed to cry,
But these tears I can't hold inside.
Losin' you would end my life you see,
Cause you mean that much to me.
You could have told me yourself
That you love someone else.


People say believe half of what you see,
Son, and none of what you hear.

I can't help bein' confused
If it's true please tell me dear?
Do you plan to let me go
For the other guy you loved before?
Don't you know...


This wonderful song exhibits the existence of gossip that exists among the puritans. The women especially are guilty of this. It relates even more so to the story for the fact that it deals with the issue of adultery or, in the case of the song, cheating. They differ in that Marvin Gaye is sad that his woman is cheatin' and Chillingsworth is more revengeful and hateful.

Chatper 3

The Recognition

One reason for this chapter title is that Hester Recognizes Chillingworth as her husband when she stands upon the scaffold. He also sees her.

Another interpretation is that the people of the town will always recognize Hester as she has to wear her scarlet letter "A" for the rest of her life.

The final reason would be that this chapter gives the first clue to discovering, or recognizing, the identity of Pearl's father when it says Dimsdale had an air towards Hester of "an apprehensive, a startled, a half-frightened look".

Chapter 6
Pearls Character is a free spirit and shows aspects of individuality in a strict puritan society that frowns upon such things. This makes her stand out in the crowd.

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Chapter 7

When Hester says "You must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give." It illustrates the conflict between pearl and her mother which arises due to the fact that Pearl is an exuberant little girl who wants to explore and discover things and Hester is a lonely outcast who has lost hope of redemption. Pearl is Hester's' only source of happiness but she is also a source of torment, which is what creates the difficult relationship between the two.

Chapter 8
Hester is in fact a fit mother for Pearl . She shows unyielding love for her daughter even though having her has cursed Hester with having to wear the scarlet letter for the rest of her life. She goes to lengths to make sure her daughter is able to stay with her, even going to the governor's mansion to plead her case. Hester can also teach her daughter what not to do as she herself has bared the burden of what happens when you do not obey. Pearl will not necessarily follow these examples, but Hester can provide the lessons of the world more so than hers could.

Chapter 9-10
Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and Doctor Roger Chillingworth have a helpless prey-leech relationship. Dimmesdale is sick and Chillingworth leeches onto him and tries to find out more about him and be controlling. This relationship is very similar to the one of King Theoden and his assistant Wormtongue. Theoden is plagues by an illness and being manipulated by the evil Wormtounge. These relationships are almost identical in nature.


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Chapter 11


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Tiger wood’s recent scandal has made the particular quote come to light. His whole world was one lie after another as he made his way from girl to girl. Not unlike Dimmesdale who lives his life as a lie because he is the true father of Pearl. Both of these men are untrue and become lost in their lies almost leading a double life.

Chapter 13

Chapter 18
The minister no longer feels alone, he is able to share his sin with Hester; making the burden somewhat lighter. Additionally they plan to escape together, and start anew.
Hawthorne begins using Dimmesdale’s first name in order for readers to better connect with him as a person. He is not as aloof as he was before; he is becoming less pious and more human. Using his first name facilitates a more casual way of seeing the minister.

Final Assignments
Hawthorne decided that Hester would have a daughter rather than a son because Hester can more easily teach a girl not to make the same mistake she made. If Hester had a son she could still teach him but I would be harder for a boy to relate to Hester’s experience.
Out of all the characters in The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale committed the greatest sin. He left Hester to face the brunt of Puritan disapproval, and the alienation that went with it, while he maintained his reputation and was able to continue being a minister