The Scarlett Letter: a Critique

The Scarlett Letter: a Critique

The Scarlet Letter:
A Critique

Elise A. Gale

Mr. Barren
AP US History
July 17, 2013

In the following critique, to prove, using examples from historical text, and from the book, Scarlet Letter, that it connects to history.
In the book of the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, in June 1642, in the Puritan town of Salem, a crowd gathers to witness an official punishment. Hester Prynne, a young woman, has been found guilty of adultery and must wear a scarlet "A", (A is a symbol of adultery and affair) on her dress as a sign of shame. She must stand on the scaffold for three hours, exposed to public humiliation. As Hester approaches the scaffold, many of the women in the crowd are angered by her beauty and quiet dignity. When demanded and cajoled to name the father of her child, Hester refuses. As Hester looks out over the crowd, she notices a small, misshapen man and recognizes him as her long-lost husband, who has been presumed lost at sea. When the husband sees Hester's shame, he asks a man in the crowd about her and is told the story of his wife's adultery. He angrily exclaims that the child's father, the partner in the adulterous act, should also be punished and vows to find the man. He chooses a new name Roger Chillingworth, to aid him in his plan.
Reverend John Wilson and the minister of her church, Arthur Dimmesdale, question Hester, but she refuses to name her the man she had an affair with. After she returns to her prison cell, the jailer brings in Roger Chillingworth, a physician, to calm Hester and her child with his roots and herbs. Chillingworth first treats Pearl, Hester's baby, and then demands to know the name of the child's father. When Hester refuses, he insists that she never reveal that he is her husband. If she ever does so, he warns her, he will destroy the child's father. Hester agrees to Chillingworth's terms even though she suspects she will regret it. Following her release from prison, Hester settles...

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