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The Scarlet Letter, Book Review Example

Pages: 2

Words: 549

Book Review

Chapter 1 – Introduction

The chapter illustrates a prison door that has a small group of Puritan Settlers dressed in dark sombre clothing and having very serious facial expressions.  Near the door we find a single wild rose bush in flower; it illustrates the time of June the flowering rose season.  The rose is symbolic of offering the condemned prisoner a final look at beauty and sweet fragrance before entering an ugly and odorous cell.  It was a final act of nature in being kind to a condemned man.

Chapter 2 – The townspeople

This introduces us to the townspeople and focuses on a women called Hester Pyrnne who is a prisoner held on the charge of adultery. Hester is seen holding Pearl her young daughter  as evidence of her sin.  She is being escorted to a scaffold where she will be held on  display for the day. Her punishment being branded as a sinner on display for the town to shame her. It is here we are introduced to the scarlet letter A (for Adulteress) which she will have to wear for the rest of her life. This was intended to shock as scarlet was associated with deep sin as opposed to the black attire worn by the puritan settlers.

Chapter 3 Hester Pyrnne

Hester focuses her eyes on a man identified as Roger Chillingworth who enquires as to the crime of Hester. He is told of her adultery and that normally it would get the death penalty but it had been commuted in this case, primarily because she refused to identify the man  and that she arrived alone in America leaving her husband in Amsterdam.  Hester remains transfixed on the gaze of Roger in the crowd. The Governor of Massachusetts attends the colony and with Hester’s preacher makes an impassioned plea for her to name the man so that the scarlet letter may be removed from her chest.  She refused and was returned to her cell and townspeople believed the scarlet letter glowed in the dark.

Major Characters

Arthur Dimmesdale – A Pastor in Boston and is the Pastor to Hester Prynne and the father of the illegitimate child. He appears as a frail sick man in pain.

Mistress Hibbins – The widowed sister of Governor Bellingham  and later executed for being a witch at the Salem witch trials.

Hester Prynne – The central character of the book and a young married women who journeyed alone to the America’s from Amsterdam. An attractive good looking lady who had an illegitimate child called Pearl with Arthur Dimmesdale

Pearl – The young attractive looking child who is both naughty and temperamental

Being Shunned

Joseph Smith was often accused of the crime of blasphemy and within the Puritan sect to be declared a blasphemer would be serious. He may well have been made to wear the letter B for blasphemer and would be shunned by the townspeople.   Such actions would  have been frowned upon and he would have been excluded from the community and participating in communal affairs and this may have included in not being allowed  to worship.  He may be given a time to repent of his sins and may have been assigned unpleasant community duties by way of punishment.  He would not have been allowed to remove the ‘B’ brand until the Elders were satisfied on his repentance.

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