The Scarlet Letter Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Hawthorne refuse to change what he has written?

2. Who is to wear the thing Hester is delivering to the governor's house?

3. Who is Hester's legal husband?

4. The title of Chapter 8 is the what and "the Minister?"

5. Whom do Dimmesdale and Chillingworth see out the window at the end of Chapter 10?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Hawthorne decide to republish the offending introduction?

2. What does Chillingworth implore Hester to do when they meet in the jail?

3. What are some examples of Chillingworth's growing power over Dimmesdale?

4. Describe what Hawthorne's narrator thinks of Reverend Dimmesdale's voice.

5. Describe the setting Hawthorne describes of the busy wharf.

6. How is Chillingworth able to see what Dimmesdale is hiding on his body?

7. What happens to Hester when the jailer introduces Chillingworth?

8. Name one of the two reasons Hawthorne suspects that the plant standing outside the prison survived.

9. What kind of skill does Hester use to support herself?

10. What does Hawthorne promise to "alter or expunge"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

A source of psychological conflict in this novel is the relationship between Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth. Using textual examples, write an descriptive analysis of how Hawthorne 1) establishes this relationship, and 2) uses the relationship to develop conflict and drive the engine of the plot. You should be sure to include examples that demonstrate how this relationship intensifies conflict at various spots in the novel.

Essay Topic 2

Some critics might characterize parts of this work as feminist, particularly considering the role of Hester Prynne vis-a-vis her interactions with Governor Bellingham and the other public officials who want to take Pearl away from her. Argue this point in an analytical essay: does this particular sequence in the novel represent a feminist approach to custody? Decide whether you think so or not, and construct a well-reasoned argument that makes use of specific textual examples. (Note: there is no "right" answer: you can argue yes, no or maybe, as long as you construct a textual argument with specific and precise reasoning.)

Essay Topic 3

Hester Prynne is a single mother in Puritan New England. Explain and analyze the way Hawthorne characterizes her, using specific examples of his technique, as well as the way he dramatizes her psychology. Be sure to consider the choices Hester makes/is forced to make throughout the novel. Is Hester a strong character or a weak one? What do you think of the way she has conducted herself? Back up your arguments with specific textual examples.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 850 words
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