Chapter 1 “The Prison Door”
1. What colony is the setting for the novel?
2. Where in the colony does the opening chapter take place?
Outside the prison door
3. For what 2 “practical necessities” did the new colony set aside land?
A cemetery and a jail – the implications of which suggest that two things that must be expected in life are death and sin
4. What 2 possible symbols does the rose have for the reader?
The rose suggests goodness, a possibility for hope for the sinners who walk out of the dark door of the prison cell or perhaps pity for the criminal as he or she walks through the prison door.
NOTE: Anne Hutchinson – was a prominent religious leader in Boston who preached that faith, rather than good works and abidance by religious law, brought one closer to God. After trying Hutchinson for heresy, the Church banished and ultimately excommunicated her. She moved to Rhode Island and later to Long Island, where she and her family were slaughtered by Native Americans, except for one daughter, who was abducted. The implied connection between Hutchinson and Hester Prynne foreshadows Hester’s reveries, when the world’s law, a law in this time period rooted deeply in religious law, becomes no law for her mind.
Chapter 2 “The Market-Place”
1. What is the relationship between religion and law in Puritan New England?
“a people amongst whom religion and law were almost identical, and in whose character both were so thoroughly interfused”
2. Describe the Puritan women. Use one quote from the book to support your answer.
The older Puritan women tended to be harsher with regards to religion and law.
“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 descendents, separated from them by a series of six or seven generations; for, throughout the chain of ancestry, every successive...