The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter The book begins by explaining that Hester Prynne has committed adultery and has a child with a man that is not her husband. Hester will not ell who the father of this child (Pearl) is. As a punishment for her sin, she must stand on a scaffold and receive the insults of the people for three hours and she must wear a scarlet “A” on her bosom for the rest of her life as a symbol for her sin. Hester was sent before to husband to Massachusetts. Her husband, however, never made it to Massachusetts and was assumed lost or dead on the Pacific. Hester found out this was not true when she saw her husband standing in the crowd watching her on the scaffold. Later, Hester’s husband visits her in jail. Roger apologizes that he was late but explains that he was captured by Indians and held captive. He convinces Hester not to reveal that he is her long lost husband, but swear that he will find and seek revenge on the father of this baby. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and his friend John Wilson are introduced at the scaffold begging Hester to reveal the father of the baby so that he may suffer just as Hester does. Ironically, it turns out that Arthur Dimmesdale was the father of the baby and he and Hester knew it. Roger Chillingworth who was a physician as well as Hester’s husband, moves in with Reverend Dimmesdale because Dimmesdale was growing ill While living with Dimmesdale, he grows suspicious that Dimmesdale is the father of Pearl and seeks revenge on him by hurting him more than curing him of his illness. But this was only a suspicion until one night, Chillingworth opened Dimmesdale’s shirt while he was sleeping and discovers a scarlet A on Dimmesdale’s Chest. Chillingworth continue to torture Dimmesdale. Hester and Pearl were let out of prison when their term was up.

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