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American Studies
Scarlet Letter 5-8

The Scarlet Letter
Chapters 5-8

1. In Chapter 5, although free to leave Boston, Hester doesn’t leave. Where does she live? Why does she choose to remain?

2. Hester is a master embroiderer, everyone, including the town leaders wear clothes embellished by her, however she never asked to embroider what?

3. Hester felt an impulse to cover the letter on her chest when people
stared. However, what did she feel “sometimes, once in many days, or perchance in many months?”

4. What could Hester “not help believing” the scarlet letter gave her?

5. With what do her enemies say her symbol was “red-hot”?

6. At the start of Chapter 6, what does the narrator say is Hester’s reason for naming her child Pearl?

7. Though physically perfect, what could Pearl “not be made amenable to”?

8. At the end of Chapter 6, while playing with Hester, what does Pearl suddenly insist her mother tell her?

9. In Chapter 7, Hester and Pearl walk toward the governor’s mansion. For what two reasons does Hester wish to visit the governor?

10. Puritan children taunt Hester and Pearl. In what way does Pearl respond to them?

11. The narrator describes the armor on display within the governor’s halls. What is reflected in a breastplate, so as to seem enormous?

12. Who approaches Hester and Pearl at the end of the chapter?

13. In Chapter 8, who are named as the men with the governor?

14. Reverend John Wilson asks Pearl, “Who made thee?” In what way does Pearl answer?

15. The governor threatens to take Pearl from Hester. To whom does Hester turn for help?

16. In what way does Chillingworth respond to Dimmesdale’s appeal on Hester’s behalf?

17. At the end of Chapter 8, what does Mr. Wilson say would be sinful?


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