Scarlet Letter Final Discussion
On each of your sticky notes, write a question: • Question 1: Recall question. Ask a question that can be answered simply if you read the book. Probably a who/what/when/where question. • Question 2: A why question. Ask about a character’s motivation. • Question 3: A question of your own. Think about symbols, Hawthorne’s argument, commentary on religion/Puritanism, Hester as the “modern day woman,” etc. Be thoughtful!
Consider the transformation of each of the characters, and the Scarlet Letter itself. • What argument do you think Hawthorne made, using each as an example to prove his point (perhaps a different one each): • Hester • The Scarlet Letter (it’s kind of its own character, no?) • Dimmesdale • Chillingworth • Pearl
Some critics say that Hester is the first true American heroine. Others, however, say that her somewhat silent suffering isn’t truly heroic, and that in the end, she takes the easy way out. What qualities make a character heroic? Are there any heroes or heroines in The Scarlet Letter? DEFEND YOUR ANSWER
If Hester Prynne is the protagonist of the story, who is the antagonist? Think about this for a minute.....Is it Chillingworth, Dimmsdale, Govenor Bellingham, or perhaps even the Puritan society as a whole? Which of these characters (if any) do you believe serves as the antagonist. WHY? What qualities or actions make a character villainous? If you believe there are no villains in the story, why do you believe that is the case? DEFEND YOUR ANSWER
In the end… • Is Pearl an imp or a lovely, confused little girl? • Is Hester vindicated from her sin? • To what extent do each of the characters (H, D, C) find peace? • What in the heck was Mistress Hibbins and The BLACK MAN (ohhh!) all about?
Extra Credit Opportunity! Check out the website under the posting “YES!! A Learning Opportunity!”