The Scarlet Letter
Marie Baxter, Mary Alice Cummings, & Hannah Jarvis

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Introduction:

"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." (pg. 272)

When one hears this quote they only hope that by the end of the novel Hester has accepted her letter, that it has made her stronger, and that her and Pearl have adapted to their situation and are happy, something that many are incapable of, even when not in such trying circumstances.

"This long connection of a family with one spot, as its place of birth and burial, creates a kindred between the human being and the locality, quite independent of any charm in the scenery or moral circumstances that surround him." (pg. 276-277)

This quote relates to the relationship between Hester and Pearl. Like the “one spot,” connecting a family, the scarlet letter connects Hester and Pearl family because it made them outcasts to the rest of Puritan society and made them rely heavily on eachother, despite the “moral circumstances that surround[ed] them.”

"I happened to place it on my breast. . .it seemed to me, that I experienced a sensation not all together physical, yet almost so, as of running heat, and as if the letter were not of red cloth, but red hot iron." (Hawthorne 297)

The overwhelming feeling that Nathanial Hawthorne feels when holding the letter to his chest is similar the the overwhelming feeling that Hannah feels when viewing photography or art related to a subject that is personal to her.

“Sometimes when I see a piece of art, it’s definitely more than an inanimate object. It’s as if I can feel what the artist felt when creating it.” - Hannah Jarvis

Chapter One:

The prison door and the scarlet letter are both outward symbols of isolation from the world as the result of a sin. Just like the scarlet letter represents the brings to attention their sin to everyone in society, making society shun and reject them, so does a prison door. Hester, the sinner, is cut off from interaction with the outside world.

Chapter Two:




That's Not My Name lyrics
by The Ting Tings


Four letter word just to get me along
It's a difficulty and I'm biting on my tongue and I
I keep stalling, keeping me together
People around gotta find something to say now

Holding back, everyday the same
Don't wanna be a loner
Listen to me, oh no
I never say anything at all
But with nothing to consider they forget my name
(ame, ame, ame)

They call me 'Hell'
They call me 'Stacey'
They call me 'her'
They call me 'Jane'
That's not my name
That's not my name
That's not my name
That's not my name

They call me 'quiet girl'
But i'm a riot
Mary-Jo-Lisa
Always the same
That's not my name
That's not my name
That's not my name
That's not my name

I miss the catch if they through me the ball
I'm the last kid standing up against the wall
Keep up, falling, these heels they keep me boring
Getting glammed up and sitting on the fence now

So alone all the time at night
Lock myself away
Listen to me, i'm not
Although I'm dressed up, out and all with
Everything considered they forget my name
(ame, ame, ame)

They call me 'Hell'
They call me 'Stacey'
They call me 'her'
They call me 'Jane'
That's not my name
That's not my name
That's not my name
That's not my name

They call me 'quiet girl'
But I'm a riot
Mary-Jo-Lisa
Always the same
That's not my name
That's not my name
That's not my name
That's not my name

Are you calling me darling?
Are you calling me bird?
Are you calling me darling?
Are you calling me bird?


The Ting Ting's song That's Not My Name relates to Hester and the way the townspeople gossip about her and look at her only as her letter, and not for who she really is .


So alone all the time at night
Lock myself away
Listen to me, i'm not
Although I'm dressed up, out and all with
Everything considered they forget my name


Hester is like the girl in this song in the way that she feels alone, isolated, and talked about. She feels "dressed up" in her scarlet letter, and even though that's all that people see when they look at her,
that's not "her name," or who she really is.



Chapter Three:

1. Hester is brought out of prison for everyone to see. She is “recognized.”
2. The town wants to find out and “recognize” the baby’s father, but Hester won’t tell.
3. Hester “recognizes” a man at the edge of the crowd as her husband.

4. It is “recognized” by the reader that Dimmesdale is the father of Pearl but he is too personally weak to step forward.


Chapter Six:


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Pearl is like this flower because she was born out of "wrongful" circumstances. Like a plant growing from concrete, she came from her mother's sin and doesn't fit in, although she is still beautiful, passionate, and a treasure to her mother. Because of her situation she is able to be unique.

Chapter Seven:

pg. 68 “Thou must gather their own sunshine. I have none to give to thee.” (Hester spoken to Pearl)
Hester has messed up her life and reputation and has nothing to give to Pearl. She is going to have to make a good life of her own because her mother can be of no help. In a relationship where someone is depressed, such person feels that no one can fix their problems or make them happy, not even themselves. Improving attitude and attaining a positive view of life is something that people must do on their own. Everyone has to find their own “sunshine” and appreciation for life, and it can’t be done by anyone else.

Chapter Eight:

Hester is not an unfit mother. She has made her fair share of mistakes but she has never let Pearl down, and has always been there for her, even through rough times. Pearl lives an undeservedly difficult life, but Hester provides for her well considering the circumstances. Hester’s sin is in no way a reflection of her capabilities as a caring, loving, and responsible mother.


Chapters Nine & Ten:

By the midpoint of the novel, Dimmesdale and Chillingworth have become close friends. Chillingworth is trying to cure Dimmesdale and discover his illness, but even more so he is trying to get at Dimmesdale’s relationship with Hester. Chillingworth is very suspicious and convinced that Dimmesdale is Pearl’s father, and he just wants him to admit it.


Brothers Movie

In the movie "Brothers," a man returns from being held as a prisoner-of-war to find that his brother has become the man, of sorts, of the household where his wife had been living under the assumption that she was a widow. This is just like Hester assuming that she was a widow after Chillingworth was lost, and Dimmesdale stepping in to help and comfort her, then they both fell in love with each other. When her true husband returns in the movie, a lot of tension between him and her and him and his brother occurs, just like the tension and suspicion between Chillingworth and Hester and Chilingworth and Dimmesdale. Also, because they are brothers, the adulterer apologizes and they still are slightly friends, just like Chilingworth and Dimmesdale.

Chapter Eleven:


“To the untrue world, the whole universe is false – it is palpable – it shrinks to nothing within his grasp. And he himself, in so far as he shows himself in a false light, becomes a shadow, or, indeed, ceases to exist.”
In the novel, Dimmesdale doesn’t come out and be honest about his true connection to Pearl as her father. He presents himself in this “false light” to protect his reputation, and because he lies about this one thing his whole life becomes a lie and nothing is real to him anymore.

Tiger Woods Cheats

Dimmesdale is secretive about his affair the same way Tiger Woods was. Although it can't be proven, Tiger probably felt remorse and guilt for the things that he did, which may have affected his golf career, and it definitely effected his personal image. He kept his cheating a secret because he wanted to protect his image (he didn't want to lose his sponsorships), just like Dimmesdale wanted to protect his image (he didn't want to lose the support of the town).

Chapter Thirteen:


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Chapter Eighteen:

The minister has changed by finally truly facing his sin. When he and Hester decide to move to Europe together and be happy alone as a family, he is finally able to experience joy again. As a minister and a townsperson he was known as Dimmesdale, but now, reborn in a sense after facing and accepting his sin and creating the relationship he wants with Hester and Pearl, he becomes Arthur.

Final Assignment:

Hawthorne chooses for Hester to raise a daughter, not a son, because by having a daughter she is able to hold a bigger position as a role model. Because Pearl is a girl, she plays Hester’s submissive offspring, and Hester is able to have a more dominant role in and impact on her daughter’s life.
Of the characters in the novel, Dimmesdale committed the greatest sin. By leaving Hester he left her in a difficult position of loneliness and temptation, hence her disloyalty and unfaithfulness. It was even harder for her because she never loved him, and he was not understanding of that. Chillingsworth acted immature and never admitted who he was because he wanted to protect his reputation and not look bad to society. Because of this he was not the strong male figure Hester needed as a husband or Pearl needed as a father.

The Scarlet Letter & The Sixth Sense:

In the movie The Sixth Sense Haley Joel Osment's character, Cole, is always judged and watched by others because he has psychiatric problems, just like Hester is always stared at because of her "A". People are always watching them expecting something to be different or odd, and for this reason they become social outcasts. Although they both have their problems with society, they learn to embrace their differences and let them make them stronger people.