The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter


Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic The Scarlet Letter begins with a bang. Our heroine, Hester Prynne, stands upon a scaffold before all of Boston in the 1620’s as punishment for her adultery. With only her child at her side, she refuses to name her lover, and damns herself as the sole sufferer of the town’s scorn. When her estranged husband arrives, he vows to discover with whom he had the affair, and devotes himself whole-heartedly ruining the other man. The Revered Dimmesdale, on the other hand, seems to be the only member of the town who has any faith in her. Quickly, the novel becomes a study in morality, in the power of law, and the challenges of trying to live according to one’s own rules.


Here is the character analysis chart that we completed in class.

Here is the study of opposites that we used to begin looking at Hawthorne’s use of symbolism in the text.

This is the in-class writing assignment/thought paper addressing whether you believe that Dimmesdale was right when he said that Pearl seems to enjoy the freedom of a broken law.

Here’s the FreeWrite that we did for Chapter 14 dealing with the character of Chillingworth.

And here’s the in-class assignment dealing with the character of Pearl in chapter 15.

Here is the creative writing assignment for chapter 21, The Minister in the Maze.

This is the Entry Slip for our seminar about the entire text.

Lastly, here are the essay prompts for the novel and the rubric.

Fun Stuff and Resources

Here’s a pretty rad video summary of the plot from the lovely folks at SparkNotes. For even more summary and analysis of the story and its symbols, check out the full text at The full text of the story is available via Project Gutenberg, and can be found here.