Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter follows Hester Prynne, the main character, when she becomes pregnant after her husband has been away for two years. She is accused of adultery, since the baby cannot possibly be his, and is forced to wear a red 'A' on her to make sure the entire town knows she commited adultery. Her daughter, Pearl, is born while she is in prison. Hester refuses to tell anyone the baby-daddy's name, so he won't have to go through any punishment. Hester's husband secretly comes to town, and visits her while she's in prison and has a plan to disguise him self and seek revenge on Hester's lover. He uses a fake name, Chillingworth, and eventually suspects Reverand Arthur Dimmesdale to be the father of Hester's baby and haunts him for the next several years. Dimmesdale eventally becomes noticeably crazy and when Hester realizes this she tells him who Chillingworth really is. The two of them plan to run away to England together, away from everyone but Dimmesdale confesses to the townspeople instead. The last thing he does before he dies is reveal the 'A' he carved into his chest to the townspeople. Hester and Pearl then leave their home and go to England to live a better life.

Discussion questions
1. Would you have confessed if you were Dimmesdale or would you have run away?
2. Do you think it was a fair punishment for Hester to have to wear the 'A' on her at all times?

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