The Scarlet Letter
Book Summary and Analysis
The Scarlet Letter takes place in the middle of the 17th century, when Hester Prynne arrives in the Massachusetts Bay Colony filled with hope that at last in the new world she would have freedom to worship without fear of persecution. The Massachusetts Bay Colony is one of the first settlements in New England; established in 1630 and became a major Puritan Colony. Hester was sent to the new world on her own in order to prepare the house for her husband, Roger Prynne, while he settled up some things in Europe. After Hester had settled down and had prepared the house in hopes for Roger's arrival, she was delivered bad news. Arthur Dimmesdale, the reverend of the colony, came to her and said that one of the boats that was on its way to the Massachusetts Bay Colony had been over taken by a group of Native Americans, and all the men and women aboard were murdered including her husband Roger.
Later Hester and Reverend Arthur have an affair, which led to Hester becoming pregnant. Since the people of the Massachusetts Bay Colony were Puritans who practiced a form of government known as theocracy, which is a government were all laws and policies are decided on by officials who are strongly connected to the church, Hester had committed and huge sin in their eyes. Hester was then sent to court where she had the opportunity to tell them who the father of her child was, but she refused to tell them in order to protect Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. As her punishment for failing to tell the court she was sentenced time in prison. While in prison Reverend Arthur wants to admit he was the father so that...