Scarlet Letter notes

Essay by mc10588High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2005

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The Scarlet Letter Ch1


-edifice (pg43) a usually large building

-lot (pg43): plot of land

-sepulchres (pg43): bury, entombed

-inauspicious (pg44): not auspicious

Character Analysis

-Isaac Johnson: one of the first settlers of Boston, buried on his own land which became his lot.

-Ann Hutchinson: prominent religious leader in Boston who preached that faith, rather than goof works and abidance by religious law, brought one closer to God. She was banished and excommunicated from the church, and moved to Long Island, where she and her family were slaughtered by Native Americans.


-(pg43) "A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments and gray steeple crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes"-Narrator

-(pg43/44) "But, on one side of the portal, and rooted almost at the threshold, was a wild rose-bush, covered, in this month of June, with it's delicate gems, which might be imagined to offer their fragrance and fragile beauty to the prisoner as he went in, and to the condemned criminal as he came forth to his doom, in token that the deep heart of Nature could pity and be kinds to him"


-(pg44) "...

it had sprung up under the footsteps of the sainted Ann Hutchinson, as she entered the prison-door,-we shall not take upon us to determine."-Narrator

-(pg44): "It may serve, let us hope, to symbolize some sweet moral blossom, that may be found along the track, or relive the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow"


The Scarlet Letter Ch2


-physiognomies(pg45) : facial appearance, especially as a reflection of inner character

-augures(pg45): divine, soothsayer

-betokened(pg45): presage, to give evidence of

-rotundly(pg46): rounded out

-hussy pg47): lewd of brazen woman, mischievous

-malefactresses(pg47): wrong -doings

-behoof(pg46): advantage, profit

-ignominy(pg 49): despicable, humiliating, degrading

-iniquity(pg50): wickedness, wicked act

-pillory(pg51): wooden frame for public punishment having holes in which the head and hands can be locked

-phantasmagoric(ph53): constantly shifting complex succession of things seen or imagines

-cloister(pg 54): a monastic establishment

Character Analysis

-Mistress Hibbins: bitter tempered, widow of the magistrate, was a witch, and was sentenced to die upon the gallows.

-Elizabeth: Queens Elizabeth: seen as man like, and not a suitable representation of woman

-Hester Prynne: seen as a hussy, was imprisoned, wears a mark for her crime, is a mother, beautiful, dark hair and dark eyes, skilled at needle work, was shamed by her deepest sin.

-Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale: said to be depressed that a scandal has come across his congregation.

-Father of Hester: bald brow, white beard.

-Mother of Hester: had the look of love.

-Man in Hester's memories: old, pale, thin, looks scholar like, dim eyes.

-Figure at cloister: was easy to recall, had deformed shoulders, one rose higher than the other.


-(pg45) "It might be, that an Antinomian, a Quaker, or other heterodox religionist was to be scourged out of the town, or an idle and vagrant Indian, whom the white mans' fire-water had made riotous about the streets, was to be driven with stripes into the shadow of the forest".-Narrator

-(pg49) "Those who had before known her, and has expected to behold her dimmed and obscured by a disastrous cloud, were astonished, and even startled, to perceive how her beauty shone out and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy in which she was enveloped."-Narrator

-(pg50) "...if we stripped Madam Hester's rich gown off her dainty shoulders, and as for the red letter, which she hath stitched so curiously, I'll bestow a rag of mine own rheumatic flannel, to make a fitter one!"-Old Dame(most iron visaged)

-(pg51) "Had there been a Papist among the crowd of Puritans, he might have seen in this beautiful woman, so picturesque in her attire and mien, and with the infant at her bosom, and object to remind him of the image of Divine Maternity, which so many illustrious painters, have vied with one another to represent, something which should remind him, indeed, but only by contrast, of that sacred image of sinless motherhood, whose infant was to redeem to world."-Narrator

-(pg52) "But, under the leaden infliction which was her doom to endure, she felt, at moments, as if she must needs shriek out with the full power of her lungs, and cast herself from the scaffold down upon the ground, or else go mad at once."-Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch3


-discerning(pg55): revealing insight and understanding

-visage(pg 55): the face or countenance of a person or sometimes an animal

-sombre(pg59): dark, gloomy, grave, melancholy

-purport(pg 61): meaning conveyed or implied

Character Analysis

-Roger Chillingworth: small, not too aged, intelligent, one shoulder was higher than the other, evil, hurt by Hester as he recognizes her, inquisitive about her crime, was a wanderer in Indian captivity, thought to be dead by the people.

-Governor Bellingham: advanced in his years, had many different experiences. He was the head and representative of a community.

-Reverend John Wilson: eldest clergyman in Boston, scholar, kind, intellectual

-Dimmesdale: young clergyman, comes from a great English Univeristy, eloquent, passionate for religion, striking, large brown eyes, loud voice, thoughtful, thinks differently than others. He tries to have Hester confess the name of her fellow adulterer, and thinks she is strong for her wanting to endure his agony as well as hers.

-Hester: still shamed, won't confess her partner in the sin, which was committing adultery while her husband lived in Amsterdam. She was sentenced to death, but it was thought better by the society for her to be publicly humiliated. She is the wife of a learned man, and in seen as strong for wanting to endure her fellow adulterer's agony as well as hers. She says the scarlet letter has become a part of her.

-Good sir: man who believes Hester was wrong and thinks the land is great because justice prevails in the land.


-(pg55) "From this intense consciousness of being the object of severe and universal observation, the wearer of the scarlet letter was at length relieved, by discerning, on the outskirts of the crowd, a figure which irresistibly took possession of her thoughts."-Narrator

-(pg56) "Very soon, however, his look became keen and penetrative. A writhing horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them, and making one little pause, with all its wreathed intervolutions in open sight. His face darkened with some powerful emotion, which, nevertheless, he so instantaneously controlled by an effort of his will, that, save at a single moment, its expression might have passed for calmness. After a brief space, the convulsion grew almost imperceptible, and finally subsided into the depths of his nature."-Narrator

-(pg62) "The young pastor's voice was tremulously sweet, rich, deep, and broken. The feeling that it so evidently manifested, rather than the direct purport of the words, caused it to vibrate within all hearts, and brought the listeners into one accord of sympathy. Even the poor baby at Hester's bosom was affected by the same influence, for it directed its hitherto vacant gaze towards Mr. Dimmesdale, and held up its little arms with a half-pleased, half-plaintive murmur. So powerful seemed the minister's appeal that the people could not believe but that Hester Prynne would speak out the guilty name, or else that the guilty one himself in whatever high or lowly place he stood, would be drawn forth by an inward and inevitable necessity, and compelled to ascend the scaffold."-Narrator

- (pg63)" She will not speak! Wondrous strength arid generosity of a woman's heart! She will not speak!"-Dimmesdale

-(pg64) "...she was led back to prison, and vanished from the public gaze within its iron-clamped portal. It was whispered by those who peered after her that the scarlet letter threw a lurid gleam along the dark passage-way of the interior."-Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch4


-insubordination(pg65): disobedient to authority

-sagamores (pg65): a subordinate chief of the Algonquian Indians of the No. Atlantic coast

-trundle(pg66): to move on or as if on wheels

-peremptory (pg66): expressive of urgency or command

-draught(pg66): medicine

-folly(pg69): lack of good sense or normal prudence and foresight

-besmirched(pg71): sully, soil

Character Analysis

-Master Brackett: jailor who thought Hester was going insane and called Chillingworth.

-Chillingworth: is a physician who tends to Hester and the infant. He is angry with her, and says it was his fault he thought that Hester could love him. He was an alchemist, is seen as a man of skill, has a cold composure, sees himself as a bookworm, a man of knowledge and decay, and is physically deformed. He wants to know who the other man is, and makes a deal with Hester that because she wronged him, she can't reveal his identity to the townspeople, therefore he sees himself connected to Hester, her baby and the other man, and insists that their souls are his.

-Hester: recognized Chillingworth in the crowd. When he came to the cell, she was afraid he would want to poison her and the child, and she wanted to die at that point. She is young and beautiful, and never expected love from him and never gave him love. She bargains with Chillingworth to keep his identity a secret; however, she becomes frightened as she sees how obsessed he is with finding the other adulterer.


-(pg65): "...Hester Prynne was found to be in a state of nervous excitement, that demanded constant watchfulness, lest she should perpetrate violence on herself, or do some half-frenzied mischief to the poor babe. As night approached, it proving impossible to quell her insubordination by rebuke or threats of punishment..."-Narrator

-(pg66) "I shall own you for a man of skill, indeed! Verily, the woman hath been like a possessed one; and there lacks little that I should take in hand, to drive Satan out of her with stripes."-Master Brackett

-(pgy67) "I know not Lethe nor Nepenthe, but I have learned many new secrets in the wilderness, and here is one of them--a recipe that an Indian taught me, in requital of some lessons of my own, that were as old as Paracelsus. Drink it! It may be less soothing than a sinless conscience. That I cannot give thee. But it will calm the swell and heaving of thy passion, like oil thrown on the waves of a tempestuous sea."- Chillingworth

-(pg68/69) "I ask not wherefore, nor how thou hast fallen into the pit, or say, rather, thou hast ascended to the pedestal of infamy on which I found thee. The reason is not far to seek. It was my folly, and thy weakness. I--a man of thought--the book-worm of great libraries--a man already in decay, having given my best years to feed the hungry dream of knowledge--what had I to do with youth and beauty like thine own? Misshapen from my birth-hour, how could I delude myself with the idea that intellectual gifts might veil physical deformity in a young girl's fantasy? Men call me wise. If sages were ever wise in their own behoof, I might have foreseen all this. I might have known that, as I came out of the vast and dismal forest, and entered this settlement of Christian men, the very first object to meet my eyes would be thyself, Hester Prynne, standing up, a statue of ignominy, before the people. Nay, from the moment when we came down the old church-steps together, a married pair, I might have beheld the bale-fire of that scarlet letter blazing at the end of our path!"- Chillingworth

-(pg70) "Thy acts are like mercy, but thy words interpret thee as a terror!"-Hester

-(pg71) "I leave thee alone: alone with thy infant and the scarlet letter! How is it, Hester? Doth thy sentence bind thee to wear the token in thy sleep? Art thou not afraid of nightmares and hideous dreams?"-Chillingworth

The Scarlet Letter Ch5


-vigor(pg72): active bodily or mental strength or force

-vivify(pg73): to endue with life or renewed life

-galling(pg74): to fret and wear away by friction



-sumptuary(pg76): designed to regulate extravagant expenditures or habits

-emolument(pg76): the returns arising from office or employment usually in the form of compensation or perquisites

-succor(pg78): something that furnishes relief

Character Analysis

-Hester: is finally free from the prison, but feels as if the scarlet letter will be more exposed, and the fact that she fought against the law made her endure it. She wasn't restricted in the Puritan settlement and she continued being a resident of New England, and re-established herself in a cottage. She was lonely and took up needlework, which she was very skilled at, and was employed by the dignified members of society, and she also helped the poor, she wore her course materials, however dressed her child in fanciful attire and she became part of the society, but was still an outcast for the scarlet letter. she began to feel as if she wasn't a sinner alone.


-(pg72) "The very law that condemned her--a giant of stem featured but with vigor to support, as well as to annihilate, in his iron arm--had held her up through the terrible ordeal of her ignominy."-Narrator

-(p74/75) "Hester Prynne, therefore, did not flee. On the outskirts of the town, within the verge of the peninsula, but not in close vicinity to any other habitation, there was a small thatched cottage. It had been built by an earlier settler, and abandoned, because the soil about it was too sterile for cultivation, while its comparative remoteness put it out of the sphere of that social activity which already marked the habits of the emigrants. It stood on the shore, looking across a basin of the sea at the forest-covered hills, towards the west. A clump of scrubby trees, such as alone grew on the peninsula, did not so much conceal the cottage from view, as seem to denote that here was some object which would fain have been, or at least ought to be, concealed."-Narrator

-(pg76)" Vanity, it may be, chose to mortify itself, by putting on, for ceremonials of pomp and state, the garments that had been wrought by her sinful hands. Her needle-work was seen on the ruff of the Governor; military men wore it on their scarfs, and the minister on his band; it decked the baby's little cap; it was shut up, to be mildewed and moulder away, in the coffins of the dead. But it is not recorded that, in a single instance, her skill was called in to embroider the white veil which was to cover the pure blushes of a bride."-Narrator

-(pg77)" To Hester Prynne it might have been a mode of expressing, and therefore soothing, the passion of her life. Like all other joys, she rejected it as sin. This morbid meddling of conscience with an immaterial matter betokened, it is to be feared, no genuine and steadfast penitence, but something doubtful, something that might be deeply wrong beneath."-Narrator

-(pg79) "But sometimes, once in many days, or perchance in many months, she felt an eye--a human eye--upon the ignominious brand, that seemed to give a momentary relief, as if half of her agony were shared. The next instant, back it all rushed again, with still a deeper throb of pain; for, in that brief interval, she had sinned anew. Had Hester sinned alone?-Narrator

-(pg81) "They averred that the symbol was not mere scarlet cloth, tinged in an earthly dye-pot, but was red-hot with infernal fire, and could be seen glowing all alight whenever Hester Prynne walked abroad in the night-time. And we must needs say it seared Hester's bosom so deeply, that perhaps there was more truth in the rumor than our modern incredulity may be inclined to admit."-Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch7


-eminence (pg92): a position of prominence or superiority

-intrinsic(pg93): belonging to the essential nature or constitution of a thing

-pestilence(pg94): contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating

-stucco(pg95): a fine plaster used in decoration and ornamentation

-cabalistic(pg95): a medieval and modern system of Jewish theosophy, mysticism, and thaumaturgy marked by belief in creation through emanation and a cipher method of interpreting Scripture

-tankard(pg97): a tall one-handled drinking vessel

-cuirass(pg97): a piece of armor covering the body from neck to waist

Character Analysis

-Pearl: elfish, seemed of demon origin, beautiful, bright complexion, deep brown hair, brown eyes, wore red that day, is aggressive, and wanted the sunshine to herself

-Hester: is going to Bellingham to discuss Pearl. She dresses Pearl in beautiful clothing, delivers gloves to the Governer, and sometimes believes that Pearl isn't her child


- (pg92) "Hester Prynne went one day to the mansion of Governor Bellingham, with a pair of gloves which she had fringed and embroidered to his order, and which were to be worn on some great occasion of state; for, though the chances of a popular election had caused this former ruler to descend a step or two from the highest rank, he still held an honorable and influential place among the colonial magistracy."-Narrator

-(pg93) "...Pearl's rich and luxuriant beauty--a beauty that shone with deep and vivid tints, a bright complexion, eyes possessing intensity both of depth and glow, and hair already of a deep, glossy brown, and which, in after years, would be nearly akin to black. There was fire in her and throughout her: she seemed the unpremeditated offshoot of a passionate moment."-Narrator

-(pg94) "Behold, verily, there is the woman of the scarlet letter: and of a truth, moreover, there is the likeness of the scarlet letter running along by her side! Come, therefore, and let us fling mud at them!"-Children

-(pg94) "This was a large wooden house, built in a fashion of which there are specimens still extant in the streets of our older towns now moss--grown, crumbling to decay, and melancholy at heart with the many sorrowful or joyful occurrences, remembered or forgotten, that have happened and passed away within their dusky chambers."-Narrator

-(pg95) "No, my little Pearl! Thou must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee!"-Hester

(pg97) "All were characterized by the sternness and severity which old portraits so invariably put on, as if they were the ghosts, rather than the pictures, of departed worthies, and were gazing with harsh and intolerant criticism at the pursuits and enjoyments of living men."-Narrator

-(pg98) "Hester looked by way of humoring the child; and she saw that, owing to the peculiar effect of this convex mirror, the scarlet letter was represented in exaggerated and gigantic proportions, so as to be greatly the most prominent feature of her appearance."-Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 6


-inscrutable (pg82): not readily investigated, interpreted, or understood

-imbued (pg83): to permeate or influence as if by dyeing

-amenable (pg83): liable to be brought to account

-imbibing (pg84): to receive into the mind and retain

-despondency (pg84): the state of feeling or showing extreme discouragement, dejection, or depression

-labyrinth (pg91): place constructed of or full of intricate passageways and blind alley

Character Analysis

-Hester: wonders about Pearl's nature and whether she is good and evil, mostly thinks she could be evil at times because of her peculiarity. She considers Pearl her treasure and dresses Pearl in rich clothing. At times, she tried to be strict with Pearl, sometimes questioned whether Pearl was human, and felt so much love for her that she thought Pearl was ideal. She had comfort when Pearl was sleeping, and acknowledges that Pearl was born an outcast. She is sometimes distraught that in some cases she asked the Lord what is the being she brought into the world, and felt torture at the attachment of Pearl to the scarlet letter. She tells Pearl that the heavenly father sent her and doubts whether she could be a demon for the fact that she was a product of her sin.

-Pearl: intelligent, beautiful, faultless, breaks rules, mischievous, wild, defiant, temperamental, had deep black eyes, emotional, outcast, "product of sin", and lonely. She was jealous of other kids playing and felt hatred for the people scorning her mother. She is also imaginative, attached to the scarlet letter, Pearl believes she has no heavenly father, elfish, has malicious intent in some cases, loves her mother, and has characteristics that make her seem evil.


-(pg82) "But she named the infant "Pearl," as being of great price--purchased with all she had--her mother's only treasure! How strange, indeed! Man had marked this woman's sin by a scarlet letter, which had such potent and disastrous efficacy that no human sympathy could reach her, save it were sinful like herself."-Narrator

-(pg82) "Yet these thoughts affected Hester Prynne less with hope than apprehension. She knew that her deed had been evil; she could have no faith, therefore, that its result would be good. Day after day she looked fearfully into the child's expanding nature, ever dreading to detect some dark and wild peculiarity that should correspond with the guiltiness to which she owed her being."-Narrator

- (pg84) "Above all, the warfare of Hester's spirit at that epoch was perpetuated in Pearl. She could recognize her wild, desperate, defiant mood, the flightiness of her temper, and even some of the very cloud-shapes of gloom and despondency that had brooded in her heart. They were now illuminated by the morning radiance of a young child's disposition, but, later in the day of earthly existence, might be prolific of the storm and whirlwind."-Narrator

- (pg90) "Hush, Pearl, hush! Thou must not talk so! He sent us all into the world. He sent even me, thy mother. Then, much more thee! Or, if not, thou strange and elfish child, whence didst thou come?" -Hester

-(pg91) "She remembered--betwixt a smile and a shudder--the talk of the neighboring townspeople, who, seeking vainly elsewhere for the child's paternity, and observing some of her odd attributes, had given out that poor little Pearl was a demon offspring: such as, ever since old Catholic times, had occasionally been seen on earth, through the agency of their mother's sin, and to promote some foul and wicked purpose. Luther, according to the scandal of his monkish enemies, was a brat of that hellish breed; nor was Pearl the only child to whom this inauspicious origin was assigned among the New England Puritans."-Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 8


-endue (pg100): endow, provide

-albeit (pg103): conceding the fact that

-mountebank ((pg106): a boastful unscrupulous pretender

Character Analysis

- Governor Bellingham: wore a loose gown and cap, is an elderly gentleman, had an elaborate ruff, grey beard, looked rigid and server, almost frost-bitten. He thought Pearl was a cute child, and that Pearl wasn't fit to be with her mother, or the scarlet letter wearer.

-John Wilson: white beard, old clergyman, nurtured at the English Church. He had a taste for good things and comfort, seemed stern, however he was benevolent, and had received warm affection for it. He also thought Pearl was a cute child and tries to explain to Hester that Pearl would be well taken care of somewhere else. He sees her as a child with witchcraft in her.

-Dimmesdale: took part in Hester's disgrace. His health was suffering because duties to pastoral relation. He was Hester pastor, and spoke for her and allowed her to keep her child by convincing Bellingham and Wilson.

-Chillingworth: physician became ugly and dark and, wants to know who the father of Pearl is by analyzing her nature.

-Pearl: didn't want to be touched by Wilson. She didn't have a father, but was part of the rosebush near the prison door, attached to Dimmesdale.

-Hester: went to discuss the governor taking away Pearl from her. She wants to teach Pearl religion and defends herself by saying that the scarlet letter has taught her lesson, tells them that God gave her the child as a punishment and a torture, and that she would die before they take Pearl away. She believes Dimmesdale knows her better because he was her pastor. She refuses Mistress Hibbins invitation because she has her child, but states she would gladly go had they taken Pearl form her.

-Mistress Hibbins: witchlike, and thinks Hester could be part of the forest.


- (pg102) "Pearl?--Ruby, rather--or Coral!--or Red Rose, at the very least, judging from thy hue! But where is this mother of thine? Ah! I see, This is the selfsame child of whom we have held speech together; and behold here the unhappy woman, Hester Prynne, her mother!"-Wilson

-(pg102) "Hester Prynne,there hath been much question concerning thee of late. The point hath been weightily discussed, whether we, that are of authority and influence, do well discharge our consciences by trusting an immortal soul, such as there is in yonder child, to the guidance of one who hath stumbled and fallen amid the pitfalls of this world. Speak thou, the child's own mother! Were it not, thinkest thou, for thy little one's temporal and eternal welfare that she be taken out of thy charge, and clad soberly, and disciplined strictly, and instructed in the truths of heaven and earth? What canst thou do for the child in this kind?"-Governor Bellingham

-(pg103) "But the child, unaccustomed to the touch or familiarity of any but her mother, escaped through the open window, and stood on the upper step, looking like a wild tropical bird of rich plumage, ready to take flight into the upper air. Mr. Wilson, not a little astonished at this outbreak--for he was a grandfatherly sort of personage, and usually a vast favorite with children--essayed, however, to proceed with the examination."-Narrator

-(pg104) ""God gave me the child! He gave her in requital of all things else which ye had taken from me. She is my happiness--she is my torture, none the less! Pearl keeps me here in life! Pearl punishes me, too! See ye not, she is the scarlet letter, only capable of being loved, and so endowed with a millionfold the power of retribution for my sin? Ye shall not take her! I will die first!"-Hester

-(pg 105) "Speak thou for me! Thou wast my pastor, and hadst charge of my soul, and knowest me better than these men can. I will not lose the child! Speak for me! Thou knowest--for thou hast sympathies which these men lack--thou knowest what is in my heart, and what are a mother's rights, and how much the stronger they are when that mother has but her child and the scarlet letter! Look thou to it! I will not lose the child! Look to it!"-Hester

-(pg106) "This child of its father's guilt and its mother's shame has come from the hand of God, to work in many ways upon her heart, who pleads so earnestly and with such bitterness of spirit the right to keep her. It was meant for a blessing--for the one blessing of her life! It was meant, doubtless, the mother herself hath told us, for a retribution, too; a torture to be felt at many an unthought-of moment; a pang, a sting, an ever-recurring agony, in the midst of a troubled joy! Hath she not expressed this thought in the garb of the poor child, so forcibly reminding us of that red symbol which sears her bosom?"-Dimmesdale

The Scarlet Letter Ch 9


-appellation(pg109): an identifying name or title

-zeal(110): eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something

Character Analysis

-Chillingworth: had his name hidden, elderly, and travel-worn. He was shocked to see Hester being shamed. He loved Hester and hoped to find warmth with her. He felt that by revealing himself as her husband would give him a bad reputation, and he developed a dark purpose. He was an expert in medical science and learned more from Native Americans while he was in captivity. He soon became close to Reverend Dimmesdale, and because he was seen as a man of skill to the people, he took care of him. he scrutinized Dimmesdale, wanted to know more about him wanted to know his secrets and sins. Roger has a maniacal obsession with the priest. He grows impatient from Dimmesdale being so reserved. Roger is ecstatic that Dimmesdale is living with him , and that their relationship has become so intimate. The society believes that Roger is a leech who is draining the health from Dimmesdale, this shows how evident his obsession is to the people around him.

-Dimmesdale: health was failing, thought of as a saint, world wasn't worthy of him if he died. He thought himself unworthy, rich voice, always put his hand over his heart, seemingly in pain. He refused medicine, even as he was pale and thin, and his voice became more tremulous, and so was influenced to confer with the physician. he was fascinated with science, having been a man of religion. As his health declines, he was forced to live with Roger, so that he would be better taken care of, and so that Roger could diagnose him. Dimmesdale was said to be haunted by Satan.


-(pg109) "Then why--since the choice was with himself--should the individual, whose connection with the fallen woman had been the most intimate and sacred of them all, come forward to vindicate his claim to an inheritance so little desirable? He resolved not to be pilloried beside her on her pedestal of shame."-Narrator

-(pg111) "By those best acquainted with his habits, the paleness of the young minister's cheek was accounted for by his too earnest devotion to study, his scrupulous fulfillment of parochial duty, and more than all, to the fasts and vigils of which he made a frequent practice, in order to keep the grossness of this earthly state from clogging and obscuring his spiritual lamp. Some declared, that if Mr. Dimmesdale were really going to die, it was cause enough that the world was not worthy to be any longer trodden by his feet. He himself, on the other hand, with characteristic humility, avowed his belief that if Providence should see fit to remove him, it would be because of his own unworthiness to perform its humblest mission here on earth."-Narrator

-(pg113) "Good men ever interpret themselves too meanly"-Chillingworth

-(pg114) "Not the less, however, though with a tremulous enjoyment, did he feel the occasional relief of looking at the universe through the medium of another kind of intellect than those with which he habitually held converse. It was as if a window were thrown open, admitting a freer atmosphere into the close and stifled study, where his life was wasting itself away, amid lamp-light, or obstructed day-beams, and the musty fragrance, be it sensual or moral, that exhales from books. But the air was too fresh and chill to be long breathed with comfort."-Narrator

-(pg116) "Nevertheless, time went on; a kind of intimacy, as we have said, grew up between these two cultivated minds, which had as wide a field as the whole sphere of human thought and study to meet upon; they discussed every topic of ethics and religion, of public affairs, and private character; they talked much, on both sides, of matters that seemed personal to themselves; and yet no secret, such as the physician fancied must exist there, ever stole out of the minister's consciousness into his companion's ear."

-(pg118) "To sum up the matter, it grew to be a widely diffused opinion that the Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale, like many other personages of special sanctity, in all ages of the Christian world, was haunted either by Satan himself or Satan's emissary, in the guise of old Roger Chillingworth."-Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 10


-gripe (pg120): to complain with grumbling

-sexton (pg120): a church officer or employee who takes care of the church property and performs related minor duties

-imbued (pg127): to permeate or influence as if by dyeing

Character Analysis

-Chillingworth: was a calm, kindly man, although he wasn't very affectionate. He was a pure and righteous man. The investigation had soon turned him into a man with an evil obsession with the clergyman, searching for his secrets and sins. A light came from his eyes that were fire like, and he watched the minister sleep, thinking he would find more things about him, but when the minister caught him, he would look kind and sympathetic. He insists that people should tell there innermost secrets, instead of dying with them, because a black flower will grow out of their hearts in the grave. He hasn't actually cared about Dimmesdale's condition, and he says that he hasn't been able to pinpoint the symptoms, and he thinks that he is not telling him everything so he could diagnose him properly. He states that Hester has her sin in the open, and she isn't as miserable because she is open with it, instead of covering it. Roger is trying to explain that an earthy sickness must be cured after the emotional problem has healed. He sees passion as Dimmesdale leaves. He is ecstatic to find the mark on his chest, and this uncovers his sin, or leads to uncovering his sin.

-Dimmesdale: was dim, has a high hope for the good welfare of society, warm love, sentiment, strengthened by studying and philosophy, and with revelation. He would sometimes become aware of Roger's presence, or an evil presence, and Dimmesdale would have seen the true intention of Chillingworth had he not been suspicious of everyone. He has an idea of how Chillingworth is and what his intentions may be, especially when Chillingworth insist upon him telling a secret. He is angry that Chillingworth thinks he would ask him to help cure the ailment he has, and then hide things from him, this shows how he might start seeing the wayward thinking of Chillingworth, and dismisses him by saying that he doesn't deal with religion, and Dimmesdale becomes frantic.


-(pg120) "He had begun an investigation, as he imagined, with the severe and equal integrity of a judge, desirous only of truth, even as if the question involved no more than the air-drawn lines and figures of a geometrical problem, instead of human passions, and wrongs inflicted on himself. But, as he proceeded, a terrible fascination, a kind of fierce, though still calm, necessity, seized the old man within its gripe, and never set him free again until he had done all its bidding. He now dug into the poor clergyman's heart, like a miner searching for gold; or, rather, like a sexton delving into a grave, possibly in quest of a jewel that had been buried on the dead man's bosom, but likely to find nothing save mortality and corruption.-Narrator

- (pg122) "They are new to me. I found them growing on a grave, which bore no tombstone, no other memorial of the dead man, save these ugly weeds, that have taken upon themselves to keep him in remembrance. They grew out of his heart, and typify, it may be, some hideous secret that was buried with him, and which he had done better to confess during his lifetime."-Chillingworth

-(pg125) "The child probably overheard their voices, for, looking up to the window with a bright, but naughty smile of mirth and intelligence, she threw one of the prickly burrs at the Rev. Mr. Dimmesdale. The sensitive clergyman shrank, with nervous dread, from the light missile. Detecting his emotion, Pearl clapped her little hands in the most extravagant ecstacy. Hester Prynne, likewise, had involuntarily looked up, and all these four persons, old and young, regarded one another in silence, till the child laughed aloud, and shouted--"Come away, mother! Come away, or yonder old black man will catch you! He hath got hold of the minister already. Come away, mother or he will catch you! But he cannot catch little Pearl!"-Pearl/Narrator

- (pg129) "But what distinguished the physician's ecstasy from Satan's was the trait of wonder in it!"-Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 11


-balked (pg130): to stop short and refuse to proceed

-efficacious (pg132): having the power to produce a desired effect

-gaiety (pg136): in a gay manner

Character Analysis

-Chillingworth: had now had a goal in his plan, because he had found the ministers secret. He was calm, gentle, passionless, with malicious intent, and wanting revenge on his mortal enemy. He became an actor with Dimmesdale, and thought of the evil things he would do to show that he knows his secret.

-Dimmesdale: knew that there was an evil presence around him, but could never relate it to Chillingworth. He thought he was wrong to think about Chillingworth this way,

and unknowingly gave him more opportunities to perfect his own plan. All of the pain he was experiencing allowed him to become popular, and added to his position. His voice was the key to him gaining the respect of the people, and this hurt him more than it helped. He had wanted to relieve himself of the sin he committed, and as he told the people how terrible he truly was, they mistook it for modesty and deemed him even more holy. He was tortured because he had performed many religious ceremonies for the people, yet he felt that he was fake. He had attempted to purify himself, by whipping himself or staring at his won reflection.


-(pg131) "While thus suffering under bodily disease, and gnawed and tortured by some black trouble of the soul, and given over to the machinations of his deadliest enemy, the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale had achieved a brilliant popularity in his sacred office. He won it indeed, in great part, by his sorrows. His intellectual gifts, his moral perceptions, his power of experiencing and communicating emotion, were kept in a state of preternatural activity by the prick and anguish of his daily life."-Narrator

- (pg132) "These fathers, otherwise so apostolic, lacked Heaven's last and rarest attestation of their office, the Tongue of Flame. They would have vainly sought--had they ever dreamed of seeking--to express the highest truths through the humblest medium of familiar words and images. Their voices came down, afar and indistinctly, from the upper heights where they habitually dwelt."-Narrator

- (pg133) "They deemed the young clergyman a miracle of holiness. They fancied him the mouth-piece of Heaven's messages of wisdom, and rebuke, and love. In their eyes, the very ground on which he trod was sanctified. The virgins of his church grew pale around him, victims of a passion so imbued with religious sentiment, that they imagined it to be all religion, and brought it openly, in their white bosoms, as their most acceptable sacrifice before the altar. The aged members of his flock, beholding Mr. Dimmesdale's frame so feeble, while they were themselves so rugged in their infirmity, believed that he would go heavenward before them, and enjoined it upon their children that their old bones should be buried close to their young pastor's holy grave." -Narrator

- (pg135) "In Mr. Dimmesdale's secret closet, under lock and key, there was a bloody scourge. Oftentimes, this Protestant and Puritan divine had plied it on his own shoulders, laughing bitterly at himself the while, and smiting so much the more pitilessly because of that bitter laugh."-Narrator

-(pg136) "Now came the dead friends of his youth, and his white-bearded father, with a saint-like frown, and his mother turning her face away as she passed by Ghost of a mother--thinnest fantasy of a mother--methinks she might yet have thrown a pitying glance towards her son! And now, through the chamber which these spectral thoughts had made so ghastly, glided Hester Prynne leading along little Pearl, in her scarlet garb, and pointing her forefinger, first at the scarlet letter on her bosom, and then at the clergyman's own breast."-Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 12


-somnambulism (pg137): an abnormal condition of sleep in which motor acts

-catarrh (pg137): inflammation of a mucous membrane

-conjectured (pg139): interpretation of omens

Character Analysis

-Dimmesdale: continues to torture himself. He says that he is a coward and not a strong person, and he feels horror, as if people are staring at the scarlet symbol on his chest. He yearns to free himself and confess his crime by screaming, yet the people don't take him as seriously as they are supposed to. He hoped that he could stand where Hester had stood, and they would see him half frozen to death. He feels better as he stood with Hester and Pearl on the scaffold. He is startled by the zenith, thinking it applies only to himself and that he could have been dreaming at that point. He also realizes more about Chillingworth and his malicious intent, and when he realizes the letter wasn't his own manifestation, and it was real, he feels tortured.

-Governor Bellingham: startled by his cry.

-Mistress Hibbins: also startled, more in discontent.

-Governor Winthrop: died

-Hester: remembers her oath to Chillingworth.

-Pearl: is very inquisitive about the minister, and wants him to be open with her in daylight, and she is still elfish and mischievous.


- (pg137) "Why, then, had he come hither? Was it but the mockery of penitence? A mockery, indeed, but in which his soul trifled with itself! A mockery at which angels blushed and wept, while fiends rejoiced with jeering laughter! He had been driven hither by the impulse of that Remorse which dogged him everywhere, and whose own sister and closely linked companion was that Cowardice which invariably drew him back, with her tremulous gripe, just when the other impulse had hurried him to the verge of a disclosure. Poor, miserable man! What right had infirmity like his to burden itself with crime?" -Narrator

-(pg140) "The venerable Father Wilson continued to step slowly onward, looking carefully at the muddy pathway before his feet, and never once turning his head towards the guilty platform. When the light of the glimmering lantern had faded quite away, the minister discovered, by the faintness which came over him, that the last few moments had been a crisis of terrible anxiety, although his mind had made an involuntary effort to relieve itself by a kind of lurid playfulness." -Narrator

- (pg143) "At the great judgment day," whispered the minister; and, strangely enough, the sense that he was a professional teacher of the truth impelled him to answer the child so. "Then, and there, before the judgment-seat, thy mother, and thou, and I must stand together. But the daylight of this world shall not see our meeting!'"-Dimmesdale/Narrator

- (pg144) "Nothing was more common, in those days, than to interpret all meteoric appearances, and other natural phenomena that occurred with less regularity than the rise and set of sun and moon, as so many revelations from a supernatural source. Thus, a blazing spear, a sword of flame, a bow, or a sheaf of arrows seen in the midnight sky, prefigured Indian warfare. Pestilence was known to have been foreboded by a shower of crimson light. We doubt whether any marked event, for good or evil, ever befell New England, from its settlement down to revolutionary times, of which the inhabitants had not been previously warned by some spectacle of its nature. Not seldom, it had been seen by multitudes. Oftener, however, its credibility rested on the faith of some lonely eyewitness, who beheld the wonder through the colored, magnifying, and distorted medium of his imagination, and shaped it more distinctly in his after-thought. It was, indeed, a majestic idea that the destiny of nations should be revealed, in these awful hieroglyphics, on the cope of heaven. A scroll so wide might not be deemed too expensive for Providence to write a people's doom upon. The belief was a favorite one with our forefathers, as betokening that their infant commonwealth was under a celestial guardianship of peculiar intimacy and strictness. But what shall we say, when an individual discovers a revelation addressed to himself alone, on the same vast sheet of record. In such a case, it could only be the symptom of a highly disordered mental state, when a man, rendered morbidly self-contemplative by long, intense, and secret pain, had extended his egotism over the whole expanse of nature, until the firmament itself should appear no more than a fitting page for his soul's history and fate."-Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 13


-pestilence (pg149): a contagious or infectious epidemic disease that is virulent and devastating

-chasm (pg154): a deep cleft in the surface of a planet

Character Analysis

-Dimmesdale: was weak, almost childlike, has an emotional conflict, on the verge of lunacy.

-Hester: shocked to see the condition of Dimmesdale. She inferred that he had an emotional problem. She feels regretful for being the outcast helping his enemy, and felt a responsibility to help him. She became more familiar to the people after the seven years, and did not interfere with the society. She was more accepted into the society, being the charitable woman, devoted to her society, a Sister of Mercy, and because of this, many people did not want to interpret the scarlet letter. She did not ask anything of the society in return, and used the scarlet letter to make herself untied to the society laws. The rules and intelligent men did not want to acknowledge her good qualities, but as they spoke to her, the scarlet letter only made her different. She became unattractive, and had no love or affection for anyone but Pearl. She became stern, and stronger. She still possessed the radical spirit, especially in the age of intellect, and it was interesting how she was radical yet conformed to be the quietest of the society. She decided her life was negative and not happy and accepted her existence. She decided to help the minister because of the state he was in, and questioned herself for letting him be in that state.

Pearl: now seven years old, had her mother's passion.


- (pg148) "The links that united her to the rest of humankind--links of flowers, or silk, or gold, or whatever the material--had all been broken. Here was the iron link of mutual crime, which neither he nor she could break. Like all other ties, it brought along with it its obligations."-Narrator

-(pg149) "It was perceived, too, that while Hester never put forward even the humblest title to share in the world's privileges--further than to breathe the common air and earn daily bread for little Pearl and herself by the faithful labor of her hands--she was quick to acknowledge her sisterhood with the race of man whenever benefits were to be conferred. None so ready as she to give of her little substance to every demand of poverty, even though the bitter-hearted pauper threw back a gibe in requital of the food brought regularly to his door, or the garments wrought for him by the fingers that could have embroidered a monarch's robe. None so self-devoted as Hester when pestilence stalked through the town. In all seasons of calamity, indeed, whether general or of individuals, the outcast of society at once found her place. She came, not as a guest, but as a rightful inmate, into the household that was darkened by trouble, as if its gloomy twilight were a medium in which she was entitled to hold intercourse with her fellow-creature. There glimmered the embroidered letter, with comfort in its unearthly ray."

-(pg150) "Such helpfulness was found in her--so much power to do, and power to sympathize--that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able, so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength."-Narrator

- (pg153) "The world's law was no law for her mind. It was an age in which the human intellect, newly emancipated, had taken a more active and a wider range than for many centuries before. Men of the sword had overthrown nobles and kings. Men bolder than these had overthrown and rearranged--not actually, but within the sphere of theory, which was their most real abode--the whole system of ancient prejudice, wherewith was linked much of ancient principle. Hester Prynne imbibed this spirit. She assumed a freedom of speculation, then common enough on the other side of the Atlantic, but which our forefathers, had they known it, would have held to be a deadlier crime than that stigmatized by the scarlet letter."- Narrator

- (pg153) "It is remarkable that persons who speculate the most boldly often conform with the most perfect quietude to the external regulations of society. The thought suffices them, without investing itself in the flesh and blood of action. So it seemed to be with Hester."-Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 14


-propinquity (pg 160):

-usurping (pg160):

Character Analysis

-Pearl: runs fast, as if she is flying, did not know the difference between herself and her reflection.

-Chillingworth: taunts Hester by telling her she contributed to the magistrate's discussion of talking about letting her take off the scarlet letter. He becomes aged, with certain alertness, studious call, intellectual, quiet, and fierce. He tried to mask his evilness with a smile, but it only emphasized it more. He was the epitome of a man becoming the devil. He says he can send Dimmesdale to his death, and than says he has not been evil and wasted time on him. He says Dimmesdale is aware of the evil presence, and added to his own torment. He saw himself changed in the glass. He says he wanted the advancement of human welfare and that she had wronged him and made him into the person he is now. He pities her, and is sorry she did not find a great love before him, so he wouldn't be hurt. He dismissed her and tells her to deal with her own choice.

Hester: says the scarlet letter will be shed when she is worthy, shocked to see what a change Roger had made. She says Chillingworth has become attached to Dimmesdale, and is making him more ill. She feels guilty for letting him do this, and asks why does he torture Dimmesdale and continue to do so. She asks why he can't take vengeance on her, because she wants to have his torture. She cant live with the guilt and decides to tell him, not only to exonerate herself, but to help him. She tries to help Chillingworth regain the good he had, but he doesn't.


- (pg157) "With all my heart! Why, mistress, I hear good tidings of you on all hands! No longer ago than yester-eve, a magistrate, a wise and godly man, was discoursing of your affairs, Mistress Hester, and whispered me that there had been question concerning you in the council. It was debated whether or no, with safety to the commonweal, yonder scarlet letter might be taken off your bosom. On my life, Hester, I made my entreaty to the worshipful magistrate that it might be done forthwith."-Chillingworth

- (pg158) "In a word, old Roger Chillingworth was a striking evidence of man's faculty of transforming himself into a devil, if he will only, for a reasonable space of time, undertake a devil's office. This unhappy person had effected such a transformation by devoting himself for seven years to the constant analysis of a heart full of torture, and deriving his enjoyment thence, and adding fuel to those fiery tortures which he analyzed and gloated over."-Narrator

- (pg159) "Since that day no man is so near to him as you. You tread behind his every footstep. You are beside him, sleeping and waking. You search his thoughts. You burrow and rankle in his heart! Your clutch is on his life, and you cause him to die daily a living death, and still he knows you not. In permitting this I have surely acted a false part by the only man to whom the power was left me to be true!-Hester

-(pg160) "The unfortunate physician, while uttering these words, lifted his hands with a look of horror, as if he had beheld some frightful shape, which he could not recognize, usurping the place of his own image in a glass. It was one of those moments--which sometimes occur only at the interval of years--when a man's moral aspect is faithfully revealed to his mind's eye. Not improbably he had never before viewed himself as he did now."- Narrator

- (pg162) ""And I thee, for the hatred that has transformed a wise and just man to a fiend! Wilt thou yet purge it out of thee, and be once more human? If not for his sake, then doubly for thine own! Forgive, and leave his further retribution to the Power that claims it! I said, but now, that there could be no good event for him, or thee, or me, who are here wandering together in this gloomy maze of evil, and stumbling at every step over the guilt wherewith we have strewn our path. It is not so! There might be good for thee, and thee alone, since thou hast been deeply wronged and hast it at thy will to pardon. Wilt thou give up that only privilege? Wilt thou reject that priceless benefit?"-Hester

The Scarlet Letter Ch 15


-blighted( pg164): to cause to deteriorate

-petulant(pg168): insolent or rude in speech or behavior

Character Analysis

-Chillingworth: deformed old figure, gathers herbs for his concoctions

-Hester: declares that she hates Chillingworth, and feels guilty for this thought, but doesn't change it. She remembers how he used to be , always looking for warmth, and wondered how she could ever be with him. She decides that he wronged her more than she did. She believed that men should win a woman's heart in marriage. Hester tries to explain to Pearl what the scarlet letter means, and begins to think Pearl could help her with her troubles, but then decides she cannot burden her own child with these problems. She starts to see that Pearl can become a noble woman.

-Pearl: imaginative, played with many things. She was creative and also violent, for breaking the wing of a bird. She tries to imitate her mothers 'A', thinking her mother would tell her what hers meant. Pearl is observative and connects the scarlet letter to the minister, and is inquisitive about its meaning.


- (pg165) "Attempting to do so, she thought of those long-past days in a distant land, when he used to emerge at eventide from the seclusion of his study and sit down in the firelight of their home, and in the light of her nuptial smile. He needed to bask himself in that smile, he said, in order that the chill of so many lonely hours among his books might be taken off the scholar's heart. Such scenes had once appeared not otherwise than happy, but now, as viewed through the dismal medium of her subsequent life, they classed themselves among her ugliest remembrances. She marvelled how such scenes could have been! She marvelled how she could ever have been wrought upon to marry him! She deemed in her crime most to be repented of, that she had ever endured and reciprocated the lukewarm grasp of his hand, and had suffered the smile of her lips and eyes to mingle and melt into his own."-Narrator

-( pg167) "She inherited her mother's gift for devising drapery and costume. As the last touch to her mermaid's garb, Pearl took some eel-grass and imitated, as best she could, on her own bosom the decoration with which she was so familiar on her mother's. A letter--the letter A--but freshly green instead of scarlet. The child bent her chin upon her breast, and contemplated this device with strange interest, even as if the one only thing for which she had been sent into the world was to make out its hidden import." I wonder if mother will ask me what it means?" thought Pearl."- Pearl/Narrator

-(pg168) "But now the idea came strongly into Hester's mind, that Pearl, with her remarkable precocity and acuteness, might already have approached the age when she could have been made a friend, and entrusted with as much of her mother's sorrows as could be imparted, without irreverence either to the parent or the child. In the little chaos of Pearl's character there might be seen emerging and could have been from the very first--the steadfast principles of an unflinching courage--an uncontrollable will--sturdy pride, which might be disciplined into self-respect--and a bitter scorn of many things which, when examined, might be found to have the taint of falsehood in them. She possessed affections, too, though hitherto acrid and disagreeable, as are the richest flavors of unripe fruit. With all these sterling attributes, thought Hester, the evil which she inherited from her mother must be great indeed, if a noble woman do not grow out of this elfish child." -Narrator

-(pg169) "In all the seven bygone years, Hester Prynne had never before been false to the symbol on her bosom. It may be that it was the talisman of a stern and severe, but yet a guardian spirit, who now forsook her; as recognizing that, in spite of his strict watch over her heart, some new evil had crept into it, or some old one had never been expelled. As for little Pearl, the earnestness soon passed out of her face." -Narrator

-(pg170) "Mother!--Mother!--Why does the minister keep his hand over his heart?"-Pearl

The Scarlet Letter Ch 16


-accord (pg172): to grant or give especially as appropriate, due, or earned

Character Analysis

-Hester: wanted to tell Dimmesdale what was happening, eve if he hated her for it, and thought they needed to speak about issues. She wonders again about Pearls' character.

-Dimmesdale: looked haggard, and feeble, nerveless, he kept his hand over his heart.

-Pearl: asked about the scarlet letter, still believed that it could come as she matures. She likes sunshine and believes it is afraid of the scarlet letter. She wants to know if her mother ever met the black man, and hears this from Mistress Hibbins.


- (pg172) "Mother, the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. Now, see! There it is, playing a good way off. Stand you here, and let me run and catch it. I am but a child. It will not flee from me--for I wear nothing on my bosom yet!"-Pearl

-(pg173) "There was no other attribute that so much impressed her with a sense of new and untransmitted vigor in Pearl's nature, as this never failing vivacity of spirits: she had not the disease of sadness, which almost all children, in these latter days, inherit, with the scrofula, from the troubles of their ancestors. Perhaps this, too, was a disease, and but the reflex of the wild energy with which Hester had fought against her sorrows before Pearl's birth. It was certainly a doubtful charm, imparting a hard, metallic lustre to the child's character. She wanted--what some people want throughout life--a grief that should deeply touch her, and thus humanize and make her capable of sympathy. But there was time enough yet for little Pearl."-Narrator

- (pg174) "It was the old dame in the chimney corner, at the house where you watched last night, But she fancied me asleep while she was talking of it. She said that a thousand and a thousand people had met him here, and had written in his book, and have his mark on them. And that ugly tempered lady, old Mistress Hibbins, was one. And, mother, the old dame said that this scarlet letter was the Black Man's mark on thee, and that it glows like a red flame when thou meetest him at midnight, here in the dark wood. Is it true, mother? And dost thou go to meet him in the nighttime?" -Pearl

-(pg177) "To Hester's eye, the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale exhibited no symptom of positive and vivacious suffering, except that, as little Pearl had remarked, he kept his hand over his heart."- Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 17


-devoid (pg179): being without a usual, typical, or expected attribute or accompaniment

-interpose (pg181): to place in an intervening position

-misanthropy (pg181): a hatred or distrust of mankind

-infirmities (pg181): the condition of being feeble

Character Analysis

-Dimmesdale: tries to make himself look better when around people, strange around Hester. He wonders if she has found peace, because he has not. He explains how miserable he truly is. He explains that he has attempted to confess, but the people reverence him even more, and this makes him more tormented. He hates her when she explains that Chillingworth was hurting him, and that she promised to keep his secret. He wants Hester's' strength, because he has none, and he is scared of what Chillingworth will do now that he knows his true intentions. He does not believe that he could start a new life, because he lost faith in himself.

-Hester: strange around Dimmesdale, tries to make Dimmesdale see that their sin was over, and makes him feel less alone. She cannot have Dimmesdale, the person who committed adultery with her, against her as the world already had been at that point. Hester tells him that God is merciful, and keeps a more positive attitude about the situation, especially when she tells him that he can start his life over. Her decision to go with him fulfills his need for companionship and strength.


- (pg178) "It was no wonder that they thus questioned one another's actual and bodily existence, and even doubted of their own. So strangely did they meet in the dim wood that it was like the first encounter in the world beyond the grave of two spirits who had been intimately connected in their former life, but now stood coldly shuddering in mutual dread, as not yet familiar with their state, nor wonted to the companionship of disembodied beings. Each a ghost, and awe-stricken at the other ghost. They were awe-stricken likewise at themselves, because the crisis flung back to them their consciousness, and revealed to each heart its history and experience, as life never does, except at such breathless epochs. The soul beheld its features in the mirror of the passing moment. It was with fear, and tremulously, and, as it were, by a slow, reluctant necessity, that Arthur Dimmesdale put forth his hand, chill as death, and touched the chill hand of Hester Prynne. The grasp, cold as it was, took away what was dreariest in the interview. They now felt themselves, at least, inhabitants of the same sphere."-Narrator

- (pg180) "More misery, Hester!--Only the more misery! As concerns the good which I may appear to do, I have no faith in it. It must needs be a delusion. What can a ruined soul like mine effect towards the redemption of other souls?--or a polluted soul towards their purification? And as for the people's reverence, would that it were turned to scorn and hatred! Canst thou deem it, Hester, a consolation that I must stand up in my pulpit, and meet so many eyes turned upward to my face, as if the light of heaven were beaming from it!--must see my flock hungry for the truth, and listening to my words as if a tongue of Pentecost were speaking!--and then look inward, and discern the black reality of what they idolize? I have laughed, in bitterness and agony of heart, at the contrast between what I seem and what I am! And Satan laughs at it!" -Dimmesdale

- (pg182) "Oh, Arthur! forgive me! In all things else, I have striven to be true! Truth was the one virtue which I might have held fast, and did hold fast, through all extremity; save when thy good--thy life--thy fame--were put in question! Then I consented to a deception. But a lie is never good, even though death threaten on the other side! Dost thou not see what I would say? That old man!--the physician!--he whom they call Roger Chillingworth!--he was my husband!"-Hester

- (pg183) "I freely forgive you now. May God forgive us both. We are not, Hester, the worst sinners in the world. There is one worse than even the polluted priest! That old man's revenge has been blacker than my sin. He has violated, in cold blood, the sanctity of a human heart. Thou and I, Hester, never did so!"-Dimmesdale

The Scarlet Letter Ch 18


-colloquy (pg188): a high-level serious discussion

-machinations (pg189): a scheming or crafty action or artful design intended to accomplish some usually evil end

Character Analysis

-Dimmesdale: happy but in fear of the idea of starting over, He still thinks about his role as a clergyman, and would have been better if he had no sinned. It was difficult for him to seek a balance. He sees Hester as a strong person, and is happy to feel joy again.

-Hester: radical, courageous, active, because she was so speculated by society, was sued to his astonishment at her boldness. She was lost, only to have her fate. The scarlet letter made her freer than most people by letting her not worry about societal rules.

-Pearl: played with different objects in the forest, gentler in the forest than in other places she had played.


- (pg188/189) "As a priest, the framework of his order inevitably hemmed him in. As a man who had once sinned, but who kept his conscience all alive and painfully sensitive by the fretting of an unhealed wound, he might have been supposed safer within the line of virtue than if he had never sinned at all."-Narrator

- ( pg190) "If in all these past seven years," thought he, "I could recall one instant of peace or hope, 1 would yet endure, for the sake of that earnest of Heaven's mercy. But now--since I am irrevocably doomed--wherefore should I not snatch the solace allowed to the condemned culprit before his execution? Or, if this be the path to a better life, as Hester would persuade me, I surely give up no fairer prospect by pursuing it! Neither can I any longer live without her companionship; so powerful is she to sustain--so tender to soothe! O Thou to whom I dare not lift mine eyes, wilt Thou yet pardon me?"-Dimmesdale

-- (pg190) ""The past is gone! Wherefore should we linger upon it now? See! With this symbol I undo it all, and make it as if it had never been!"-Hester

- (pg191) "Her sex, her youth, and the whole richness of her beauty, came back from what men call the irrevocable past, and clustered themselves with her maiden hope, and a happiness before unknown, within the magic circle of this hour. And, as if the gloom of the earth and sky had been but the effluence of these two mortal hearts, it vanished with their sorrow. All at once, as with a sudden smile of heaven, forth burst the sunshine, pouring a very flood into the obscure forest, gladdening each green leaf, transmuting the yellow fallen ones to gold, and gleaming adown the gray trunks of the solemn trees. The objects that had made a shadow hitherto, embodied the brightness now. The course of the little brook might be traced by its merry gleam afar into the wood's heart of mystery, which had become a mystery of joy."- Narrator

- (pg193) "Pearl gathered the violets, and anemones, and columbines, and some twigs of the freshest green, which the old trees held down before her eyes. With these she decorated her hair and her young waist, and became a nymph child, or an infant dryad, or whatever else was in closest sympathy with the antique wood. In such guise had Pearl adorned herself, when she heard her mother's voice, and came slowly back." -Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 19


-accosting(pg196): to approach and speak to often in a challenging or aggressive way

-gesticulating(pg198): to make gestures especially when speaking

-mollified(pg198): to soothe in temper or disposition

-caprice(pg201): a sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated notion or action

-dell(201): a secluded hollow or small valley usually covered with trees or turf

Character Analysis

-Hester: believes that Pearl will love Dimmesdale. Hester wondered why Pearl was not walking faster to her, however did not take into account his unfamiliarity with her. She sees that Pearl is unfamiliar with her sudden change, and therefore had to put the scarlet letter back on and tie up her hair in order for Pearl to go to her.

-Dimmesdale: was scared people would see the resemblance between himself and Pearl.

-Pearl: is creative, a splendid child, who is beautiful. She united them form that point onward. She is intolerant of emotion, when she does not understand where it originated. Pearl was unfamiliar with the minister being their, and was slow in advancing towards Hester and Dimmesdale. She was unfamiliar with the scarlet letter being gone and her mother's hair showing. Pearl wonders if the minister loves them, and she encourages him to be seen in daylight with them. She showed no affection towards Dimmesdale.


- (pg 195) "Dost thou know, Hester, said Arthur Dimmesdale, with an unquiet smile, "that this dear child, tripping about always at thy side, hath caused me many an alarm? Methought--oh, Hester, what a thought is that, and how terrible to dread it!--that my own features were partly repeated in her face, and so strikingly that the world might see them! But she is mostly thine!" -Dimmesdale

- (pg197) "By this time Pearl had reached the margin of the brook, and stood on the further side, gazing silently at Hester and the clergyman, who still sat together on the mossy tree-trunk waiting to receive her. Just where she had paused, the brook chanced to form a pool so smooth and quiet that it reflected a perfect image of her little figure, with all the brilliant picturesqueness of her beauty, in its adornment of flowers and wreathed foliage, but more refined and spiritualized than the reality. This image, so nearly identical with the living Pearl, seemed to communicate somewhat of its own shadowy and intangible quality to the child herself. It was strange, the way in which Pearl stood, looking so steadfastly at them through the dim medium of the forest gloom, herself, meanwhile, all glorified with a ray of sunshine, that was attracted thitherward as by a certain sympathy. In the brook beneath stood another child--another and the same--with likewise its ray of golden light. Hester felt herself, in some indistinct and tantalizing manner, estranged from Pearl, as if the child, in her lonely ramble through the forest, had strayed out of the sphere in which she and her mother dwelt together, and was now vainly seeking to return to it.."-Narrator

- (pg199) "Hopefully, but a moment ago, as Hester had spoken of drowning it in the deep sea, there was a sense of inevitable doom upon her as she thus received back this deadly symbol from the hand of fate. She had flung it into infinite space! she had drawn an hour's free breath! and here again was the scarlet misery glittering on the old spot! So it ever is, whether thus typified or no, that an evil deed invests itself with the character of doom. Hester next gathered up the heavy tresses of her hair and confined them beneath her cap. As if there were a withering spell in the sad letter, her beauty, the warmth and richness of her womanhood, departed like fading sunshine, and a gray shadow seemed to fall across her."-Narrator

- (pg 201) "But, whether influenced by the jealousy that seems instinctive with every petted child towards a dangerous rival, or from whatever caprice of her freakish nature, Pearl would show no favor to the clergyman. It was only by an exertion of force that her mother brought her up to him, hanging back, and manifesting her reluctance by odd grimaces; of which, ever since her babyhood, she had possessed a singular variety, and could transform her mobile physiognomy into a series of different aspects, with a new mischief in them, each and all." -Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 20


-vicissitude (pg202): the quality or state of being changeable

-forborne (pg207): to hold oneself back from especially with an effort

Character Analysis

-Dimmesdale: was happy enough to think he dreamt the meeting with Peal and Hester in the forest. He felt as if everything had changed, although it had not. As he walked past people, he believed that he was a changed man, and he was more energetic and in better health. He felt rebellious, and had to restrain himself from saying blasphemous words to the people who addressed him. He felt as if he was with the devil, and sinning for feeling wild. He began to think he was insane. He treats Chillingworth the same, even as he is aware of his intentions.

-Chillingworth: still torturing the minister, sense that the minister is fully aware of his intentions.

-Mistress Hibbins: states that the minister has done evil in the forest.


-(pg203) "The excitement of Mr. Dimmesdale's feelings as he returned from his interview with Hester, lent him unaccustomed physical energy, and hurried him townward at a rapid pace. The pathway among the woods seemed wilder, more uncouth with its rude natural obstacles, and less trodden by the foot of man, than he remembered it on his outward journey. But he leaped across the plashy places, thrust himself through the clinging underbush, climbed the ascent, plunged into the hollow, and overcame, in short, all the difficulties of the track, with an unweariable activity that astonished him. He could not but recall how feebly, and with what frequent pauses for breath he had toiled over the same ground, only two days before. As he drew near the town, he took an impression of change from the series of familiar objects that presented themselves. It seemed not yesterday, not one, not two, but many days, or even years ago, since he had quitted them."-Narrator

- (pg 208) "Am I mad? or am I given over utterly to the fiend? Did I make a contract with him in the forest, and sign it with my blood? And does he now summon me to its fulfillment, by suggesting the performance of every wickedness which his most foul imagination can conceive?"-Dimmesdale

- (pg209) "The wretched minister! He had made a bargain very like it! Tempted by a dream of happiness, he had yielded himself with deliberate choice, as he had never done before, to what he knew was deadly sin. And the infectious poison of that sin had been thus rapidly diffused throughout his moral system. It bad stupefied all blessed impulses, and awakened into vivid life the whole brotherhood of bad ones. Scorn, bitterness, unprovoked malignity, gratuitous desire of ill, ridicule of whatever was good and holy, all awoke to tempt, even while they frightened him. And his encounter with old Mistress Hibbins, if it were a real incident, did but show its sympathy and fellowship with wicked mortals, and the world of perverted spirits."-Narrator

- (pg210) "That self was gone. Another man had returned out of the forest--a wiser one--with a knowledge of hidden mysteries which the simplicity of the former never could have reached. A bitter kind of knowledge that!"-Narrator

- (pg211) "Nay, I think not so," rejoined the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale. "My journey, and the sight of the holy Apostle yonder, and the free air which I have breathed have done me good, after so long confinement in my study. I think to need no more of your drugs, my kind physician, good though they be, and administered by a friendly hand."- Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 21


-mirth (pg216): gladness or gaiety as shown by or accompanied with laughter

Character Analysis

-Hester: clad in her gray outfit, her face was like a mask, and was stern. She was thinking about how she was going to be leaving soon, and felt some regret from gaining freedom from a long punishment. She is astonished at Chillingworth's audacity to accompany them, and is afraid.

-Pearl: wore lavish clothing, gorgeous, delicate and like a flower. She was excited that day, and broke out in screams and wild movements. She wonders why all the people are dressed differently, and inquires about the minister.

Chillingworth: had been in the marketplace, clad in many different garments, that would not make him look like a physician, he is accompanying them.


- (pg213) "Her face, so long familiar to the townspeople, showed the marble quietude which they were accustomed to behold there. It was like a mask; or, rather like the frozen calmness of a dead woman's features; owing this dreary resemblance to the fact that Hester was actually dead, in respect to any claim of sympathy, and had departed out of the world with which she still seemed to mingle." -Narrator

- (pg216) "And will the minister be there? and will he hold out both his hands to me, as when thou led'st me to him from the brook-side?"-Pearl

-( pg217) "Nor would it have been impracticable, in the observance of majestic ceremonies, to combine mirthful recreation with solemnity, and give, as it were, a grotesque and brilliant embroidery to the great robe of state, which a nation, at such festivals, puts on. There was some shadow of an attempt of this kind in the mode of celebrating the day on which the political year of the colony commenced. The dim reflection of a remembered splendor, a colorless and manifold diluted repetition of what they had beheld in proud old London--we will not say at a royal coronation, but at a Lord Mayor's show--might be traced in the customs which our forefathers instituted, with reference to the annual installation of magistrates. The fathers and founders of the commonwealth--the statesman, the priest, and the soldier--seemed it a duty then to assume the outward state and majesty, which, in accordance with antique style, was looked upon as the proper garb of public and social eminence. All came forth to move in procession before the people's eye, and thus impart a needed dignity to the simple framework of a government so newly constructed." -Narrator

-(pg218) "Wrestling matches, in the different fashions of Cornwall and Devonshire, were seen here and there about the market-place; in one corner, there was a friendly bout at quarterstaff; and--what attracted most interest of all--on the platform of the pillory, already so noted in our pages, two masters of defense were commencing an exhibition with the buckler and broadsword. But, much to the disappointment of the crowd, this latter business was broken off by the interposition of the town beadle, who had no idea of permitting the majesty of the law to be violated by such an abuse of one of its consecrated places."-Narrator

- (pg221) "Nothing further passed between the mariner and Hester Prynne. But at that instant she beheld old Roger Chillingworth himself, standing in the remotest comer of the market-place and smiling on her; a smile which--across the wide and bustling square, and through all the talk and laughter, and various thoughts, moods, and interests of the crowd--conveyed secret and fearful meaning."-Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 22


-tempestuous (pg224): of, relating to, or resembling a tempest

-cadence (pg228): a rhythmic sequence or flow of sounds in language

Character Analysis

-Hester: was fearful, did not recognize Dimmesdale, and thought she might have been deluded. She tries to be wary of Mistress Hibbins, but sees many of the changes she is telling her about in Dimmesdale. Hester was worried about Chillingworth's plan.

-Dimmesdale: was going to announce his election sermon. He was not feeble, or clutching his heart, and was viewed to have supernatural strength. His voice was sorrowful, but very powerful.

-Pearl: wonders if the minister would have shunned her had she come near him, and was every energetic and helping the people, who may have called her a demon child at any other time.

-Mistress Hibbins: wore an embroidered gown of velvet, was an actor. She explains that Dimmesdale is a saint and laughs at the fact that he was in the forest, and finds it hard to believe that he is the same man. Mistress Hibbins knows Hester has been in the forest, and hints at the sin.


- (pg 223) "Before Hester Prynne could call together her thoughts, and consider what was practicable to be done in this new and startling aspect of affairs, the sound of military music was heard approaching along a contiguous street. It denoted the advance of the procession of magistrates and citizens on its way towards the meeting-house: where, in compliance with a custom thus early established, and ever since observed, the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale was to deliver an Election Sermon."-Narrator

- (pg224) "Yet, if the clergyman were rightly viewed, his strength seemed not of the body. It might be spiritual and imparted to him by angelical ministrations. It might be the exhilaration of that potent cordial which is distilled only in the furnace-glow of earnest and long-continued thought. Or perchance his sensitive temperament was invigorated by the loud and piercing music that swelled heaven-ward, and uplifted him on its ascending wave. Nevertheless, so abstracted was his look, it might be questioned whether Mr. Dimmesdale ever heard the music. There was his body, moving onward, and with an unaccustomed force. But where was his mind? Far and deep in its own region, busying itself, with preternatural activity, to marshal a procession of stately thoughts that were soon to issue thence; and so he saw nothing, heard nothing, knew nothing of what was around him; but the spiritual element took up the feeble frame and carried it along, unconscious of the burden, and converting it to spirit like itself."-Narrator

- (pg226) "Now, what mortal imagination could conceive it?Yonder divine man! That saint on earth, as the people uphold him to be, and as--I must needs say--he really looks! Who, now, that saw him pass in the procession, would think how little while it is since he went forth out of his study--chewing a Hebrew text of Scripture in his mouth, I warrant--to take an airing in the forest! Aha! we know what that means, Hester Prynne! But truly, forsooth, I find it hard to believe him the same man. Many a church member saw I, walking behind the music, that has danced in the same measure with me, when Somebody was fiddler, and, it might be, an Indian powwow or a Lapland wizard changing hands with us! That is but a trifle, when a woman knows the world. But this minister. Couldst thou surely tell, Hester, whether he was the same man that encountered thee on the forest path?"-Mistress Hibbins

The Scarlet Letter Ch 23


-murmur (pg223): half-suppressed or muttered complaint

Character Analysis

-Dimmesdale: had an eloquent voice, seemed superior, stood upright without help, reveals his secret to the people. He has died and tells Hester that they have met again, and that this was their fate. He feels that Chillingworth is the worst sinner.

-Hester: worried about meeting Dimmesdale ever again.

-Chillingworth: feels as if Dimmesdale has escaped him, is a sinner, and can't dela with him crime.

-Pearl: accepts Dimmesdale as her father.


-(pg237) "It was a ghastly look with which he regarded them; but there was something at once tender and strangely triumphant in it. The child, with the bird-like motion, which was one of her characteristics, flew to him, and clasped her arms about his knees. Hester Prynne--slowly, as if impelled by inevitable fate, and against her strongest will--likewise drew near, but paused before she reached him. At this instant old Roger Chillingworth thrust himself through the crowd--or, perhaps, so dark, disturbed, and evil was his look, he rose up out of some nether region--to snatch back his victim from what he sought to do! Be that as it might, the old man rushed forward, and caught the minister by the arm."-Narrator

-(pg237) "Madman, hold! what is your purpose?. Wave back that woman! Cast off this child All shall be well! Do not blacken your fame, and perish in dishonor! I can yet save you! Would you bring infamy on your sacred profession?"-Chillingworth

-(pg 237) "Hester Prynne, cried he, with a piercing earnestness, in the name of Him, so terrible and so merciful, who gives me grace, at this last moment, to do what--for my own heavy sin and miserable agony--I withheld myself from doing seven years ago, come hither now, and twine thy strength about me! Thy strength, Hester; but let it be guided by the will which God hath granted me! This wretched and wronged old man is opposing it with all his might!--with all his own might, and the fiend's! Come, Hester--come! Support me up yonder scaffold."- Dimmesdale/Narrator

-(pg240) "With a convulsive motion, he tore away the ministerial band from before his breast. It was revealed! But it were irreverent to describe that revelation. For an instant, the gaze of the horror-stricken multitude was concentrated on the ghastly miracle; while the minister stood, with a flush of triumph in his face, as one who, in the crisis of acutest pain, had won a victory. Then, down he sank upon the scaffold! Hester partly raised him, and supported his head against her bosom. Old Roger Chillingworth knelt down beside him, with a blank, dull countenance, out of which the life seemed to have departed." -Narrator

The Scarlet Letter Ch 24


-heraldry (pg248): the practice of devising, blazoning, and granting armorial insignia and of tracing and recording genealogies

Character Analysis

Chillingworth: had shrived and died in the same year that Dimmesdale had died. He left property to Pearl and Hester.

-Hester: took back the scarlet letter and could not escape her sin fully. The scarlet letter stopped being a stigma to the society. She had wanted there to be social equality amongst men and women, and thought herself to be the person who would start this. She died after years of wearing the scarlet letter.

-Peal: became the richest person in her generation, she had grown up to be a noble woman, and her whereabouts were unknown.


- (pg244) "Nothing was more remarkable than the change which took place, almost immediately after Mr. Dimmesdale's death, in the appearance and demeanor of the old man known as Roger Chillingworth. All his strength and energy--all his vital and intellectual force--seemed at once to desert him, insomuch that he positively withered up, shrivelled away and almost vanished from mortal sight, like an uprooted weed that lies wilting in the sun. This unhappy man had made the very principle of his life to consist in the pursuit and systematic exercise revenge; and when, by its completest triumph consummation that evil principle was left with no further material to support it--when, in short, there was no more Devil's work on earth for him to do, it only remained for the unhumanized mortal to betake himself whither his master would find him tasks enough, and pay him his wages duly. But, to all these shadowy beings, so long our near acquaintances--as well Roger Chillingworth as his companions we would fain be merciful. It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry, whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom." -Narrator

-(pg 245) "So Pearl--the elf child--the demon offspring, as some people up to that epoch persisted in considering her--became the richest heiress of her day in the New World. Not improbably this circumstance wrought a very material change in the public estimation; and had the mother and child remained here, little Pearl at a marriageable period of life might have mingled her wild blood with the lineage of the devoutest Puritan among them all. But, in no long time after the physician's death, the wearer of the scarlet letter disappeared, and Pearl along with her." -Narrator

- (pg 245) "And Hester Prynne had returned, and taken up her long-forsaken shame! But where was little Pearl? If still alive she must now have been in the flush and bloom of early womanhood. None knew--nor ever learned with the fullness of perfect certainty--whether the elf-child had gone thus untimely to a maiden grave; or whether her wild, rich nature had been softened and subdued and made capable of a woman's gentle happiness." -Narrator

- (pg248) "ON A FIELD, SABLE, THE LETTER A, GULES"-Narrator