Paraphrase Excerpt – The Scarlet Letter
The following is one paragraph from the novel (page 57). It has been separated for you into sentences. Look at each sentence, note the important information that is in there. Then, paraphrase each sentence, not leaving out anything important. Write your paraphrase under each sentence. Use a contrasting font.
After you are finished, answer this question: WHAT IS THE MAIN IDEA OF THE PARAGRAPH?
It was a circumstance to be noted on the summer morning when our story begins its course, that the women, of whom there were several in the crowd, appeared to take a peculiar interest in whatever penal infliction might be expected to ensue.
The age had not so much refinement, [that any sense of impropriety restrained the wearers of petticoat and farthingale from stepping forth into the public ways, and wedging their not unsubstantial persons], I occasion were, into the throng nearest the scaffold at an execution.
Morally, as well as materially, [there was a coarser fibre in those wives and maidens of old English birth and breeding than in their fair descendants, separated from them by a series of six of seven generations]; for throughout that chain of ancestry, every successive mother had transmitted to her child [a fainter bloom, a more delicate and briefer beauty, and a slighter physical frame, if not character of less force and solidity] than her own.
The women who were now standing about the prison-door stood within less than half a century of the period when the manlike Elizabeth had been the not altogether unsuitable representative of the sex.
(The Scarlet Letter, page 57)