The Scarlet Letter Ch.11-24

popularity is increasing because of it

What effect does Dimmesdale's guilt have upon his popularity in the colony?

whipped himself, fasted, held penance services

What practice does Dimmesdale begin as a result of his guilt?

a period of keeping awake for reflection during the time for sleep

What is a vigil?


Where does Dimmesdale hold his vigil?

to stand with her and Hester at the scaffold at noon the next day

What promise does Dimmesdale refuse to make to Pearl?

had to measure Gov. Winthrop's burial robe

Why are Hester and Pearl out at midnight?

dust makes an A in the sky (symbolism)

What is miraculous about the meteor?


How old is Pearl in chapter 12?

respect her now, recognizes her goodness

How has the townspeople's view changed toward Hester?

shorter hair, no love in her face, no passion in her form, aging, losing her beauty

How has Hester's appearance changed between the beginning and chapter 12?

tell Chillingworth to leave Dimmesdale alone

What does Hester resolve to do?

aged, no longer intelligent looking, looks eager, inquisitive and guarded, still ugly, still misshapen

How has Roger Chillingworth changed in the past 7 years?

stop torturing Dimmesdale

What does Hester want Chillingworth to do?

reveal her and Chillingworth's marriage

What revelation is Hester going to make to Dimmesdale?

hates him

According to her description of him, how does Hester feel about Chillngworth?

-"What does the scarlet letter mean?" "Why do you wear it on your bosom?" "Why does the minister keep one hand over his heart?" -Pearl is only a child, so Hester doesn't want her to know the whole truth.

What questions does Pearl ask her mother about the letter? Why does this trouble Hester?

-forest -he walks there alone

Where does Hester plan to meet Dimmesdale? Why?

-sunlight peeking in through the cracks in the leaves -purity, goodness, happiness-Pearl is still so innocent and has no sin

Describe the scene with Hester and Pearl in the sunlight. What symbolic meaning could the sunlight have? Why does sunlight shine on Pearl and not on Hester?

-Mistress Hibbins told her that he haunts the forest carrying a big, heavy book with heavy iron clasps and offers an iron pen to everyone. They write their names with their own blood. He leaves his mark on their chest. -metaphor for the devil, temptation, and succumbing to it.

What story has Pearl heard about the Black Man?

the black man = the devilthe devil = sin sin = the scarlet letter

What does Hester mean when she says, "Once in my life, I met the Black Man. The scarlet letter is his mark.

-black man marked him-he is actually marked

Why does Pearl think the minister holds his hand over his heart? How is there symbolic truth in what she says?


What is Dimmesdale's "secret poison his malignity, infecting all air around him?

damnation and torture

From what does Hester hope to save Dimmesdale by telling him the truth about Chillingworth?

-yes-"Such was the ruin to which she brought the man she still so passionately loved.

Does Hester still love Dimmesdale?

very upset at first that she lied for so long, shocked, mad; then, forgives her and is ok

What is Dimmesdale's reaction to the truth?

move to another town or even overseas

What future plans does Hester suggest to DImmesdale as a way to escape Chillingworth?

he does not want to because he is rooted in his sin in the colony and couldn't run away

What is Dimmesdale's decision in response to Hester's plea to leave to colony?

Hester and Dimmesdale were living in darkness and after discussion, feel new hope and liveliness.

Why is chapter 18 called "A Flood of Sunshine"?

takes off scarlet letter

What does Hester do that symbolizes putting the past behind them?

peace, goodness, freedom, hope, forgiveness

What is the sunshine a symbol of?

cap that hid her hair

When Hester throws down her scarlet letter in chapter 15, the transfiguration foreshadowed in chapter 13 occurs, and Hester's beauty returns. What is the magic touch that effects the transformation?

Hester's sin

Near the end of chapter 15, the forest creatures are naturally drawn to Pearl and recognize her as a kindred wildness. How do you account for this wildness in Pearl?

talking about Pearl looking like him

What does Dimmesdale mean when he says, "Oh, Hester, what a thought is that, and how terrible to dread it! That my own features were part repeated in her face, and so strikingly that the world might see them!

Hester is not wearing the scarlet letter; she doesn't recognize her mom.

Why is Pearl upset when her mother calls her?

-shows no affection towards him-living reminder of their sin

What is Pearl's reaction to Dimmesdale? How is Pearl a symbol for Hester and Dimmesdale?

-Europe -bigger crowds and cities for hiding

Where have Hester and Dimmedale decided to go when they leave Boston? Why do they choose to go to Europe rather than remain in the New World?

she is the sister of charity

How does it happen that Hester knows that captain of the ship now in the harbor?

scheduled to give the election sermon and retire in 3 days

Why does Dimmesdale consider it fortunate that the ship is not to sail for 4 days?

the devil

When Mistress Hibbins offers to introduce Dimmesdale to "yonder potentate you wot of," to whom is she referring?

new governor inauguration

What have the crowds of people gathered in the market-place to witness?

coronation of queen in England

Of what ceremony in Europe was the Election Day pageantry a pale imitation?

Chillingworth is coming with them.

What piece of unwelcome news does the master of the ship on which, she, Pearl, and Dimmesdale are to sail have for Hester?

energetic, stronger, lively

What is particularly noticeable about Dimmesdale's manner as he walks in the procession?

at the foot of the scaffold, far from him

Where does Hester stand during the procession and during Dimmesdale's sermon in the church?

weak, pale, drained

How does Dimmesdale appear as he leaves the church after his triumpant sermon?

overjoyed, flocks to him, embraces him, eager

How does Pearl react when Dimmesdale calls Hester and herself to the scaffold with him?

on the scaffold

Where, according to Chillingworth, is the one place where Dimmesdale could have successfully escaped him?

tortured himself, Chillingworth made it with his drugs and magic, effect of constant remorse physically gnawing outward

What were some of the conjectures made by parishioners as to the origin of the minister's scarlet letter?

made sermon parable to teach a lesson, never directly mentioned Hester, embraced Hester as a way to express the futility of human righteousness

What explanation for the events of Election Day is made by the minister's friends to make him seem blameless?

-eager to confess sin because he thinks it will be better-confessing his sin was hard on him, but needed to confess before death

Dimmesdale enters the church energetically and upright to give his sermon; he leaves it stooped and tottering. How would you account for each of these quite different ways he carried himself? What might we assume happened to him during the course of the sermon?

wants to continue carrying out the torture and revenge

Explain why Chillingworth desperately tries to stop Dimmesdale from confessing his sins on the scaffold.

helped each other commit mortal sin and will never be saved or go to heaven

What do you think Dimmesdale means when he describes his and Hester's sin as violating "our reverence for each other's soul"?

satire and historical fiction

What is the genre of the novel?

poking fun at the hypocritical Puritans

How is The Scarlet Letter a satire?