Make your own free website on

American Studies
Scarlet Letter Test Prep

The Scarlet Letter Test Prep

Essay Portion of Exam
You may prepare an outline of your two essay, however, you must actually write it during the exam time. I will not accept any prewritten essays. Here are the questions:

On your own piece of paper, you are to select two essay questions to respond to. Write a conherent essay that includes and introduction and conclusion. I suggest using a 5-paragraph essay format. Use your interpretation of the story, and cite examples to support and develop your answer.

1. Central Theme
What is the central theme of The Scarlet Letter? (for example, the effects of sin, redemption, or hypocrisy) In addition to identifying the theme, tell how the plot, setting, characters,and symbolism in the novel contribute to the theme. Support your ideas with specific examples from the novel.

2. Minor Characters
Explain and evaluate the role of one of the following minor characters in the novel: John Wilson, Governor Bellingham, the sexton, or the shipmaster.

3. Screen
Tell whether or not you think that The Scarlet Letter could be successfully adapted for the movie screen. Support your opinion with specific references to scenes from the novel.

4. Foreshadow
Several times in The Scarlet Letter, a future event is suggested or foreshadowed. Cite how the author used this technique, giving examples of how such foreshadowing connected to later events.

5. Symbols
Discuss Hawthorne's use of symbols in The Scarlet Letter. Give at least three symbols used in the novel and explain their meaning. Show how the symbols relate to the central theme of the novel..

6. Puritan Setting
Explain the effect of the Puritan setting on the plot of the novel and what you believe to be Hawthorne's attitude toward the Puritan view of morality.

7. Irony
Discuss the use of irony in The Scarlet Lette. Give specific examples and explain how these are ironic. Evaluate the effective of this technique in the novel.

Valuable Terms and Vocabulary

The multiple choice section of the test will include 50 questions. I will provide a short passage from the book, followed by questions on content, form, and style. This requires you to have a good understanding of the whole book and the ability to connect the themes and symbols together. This exam will be particularly difficult if you didn't read.
To assist those students that have done their homework and reading, I have prepared a list of terms that show up on the test. It is worth your while to familiarize yourself with these.

Literary Elements
1. Personification
2. Allusion
3. Metaphor
4. Simile
5. Alliteration
6. Exposition
7. Denotation
8. Foreshadowing
9. Cynicism
10. Sarcasm
11. Irony
12. Romanticism
13. Infamy
14. Atrocity
15. Lurid
16. Racy
17. Ignominy
18. rigor
19. morbid
20. spectacle
21. pious
22. arrogance
23. fastidiousness
24. fated
25. solace
26. depravity
27. obscurity
28. distinct
29. elation
30. disquiet
31. epoch
32. clangor
33. renowned


Usher Quiz | Poe Questions | Mortally Wounded at Gettysburg | Scarlet Letter Test Prep | New Page Title | Scarlet Letter 5-8 | The Minister's Black Veil | Stuff | Allegory Assignment | Romanticism vs. Anti-Romanticism | American Studies Policies | Persona Poem | Meditation Mandala Poem | Writing Guidelines