The Scarlet Letter Test | Final 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 do Hester and Dimmesdale chose the place they do to escape to?

2. Where does Dimmesdale imagine a "scarlet token?"

3. Who are the "rough-looking desperadoes, with sun-blackened faces" at the holiday in Chapter 21?

4. According to the narrator, which of the following has NOT been one of Hester's "teachers"?

5. What is Hester wearing on the public holiday in Chapter 21?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Hester go to meet Dimmesdale in the woods?

2. In Chapter 14, why is Chillingworth in the woods?

3. In Chapter 15, when Pearl asks Hester what the letter stands for, what does Hester reply?

4. Why do Hester and Pearl gather with other townspeople at the beginning of Chapter 21?

5. Why does Chillingworth attempt to stop Hester and Pearl from joining Dimmesdale on the scaffold?

6. Why, in Chapter 18, does Hester remove the scarlet letter and fling it into a brook?

7. In Chapter 13, Hawthorne says that some people would think that Hester's scarlet letter stands for "Able." Why?

8. In Chapter 16, Hester changes her story to Pearl about the significance of the scarlet letter. What does she say about the letter in Chapter 16?

9. When Hester calls for Pearl to come to her in Chapter 19, Pearl will not move from her spot in the woods. What prevents her from going to her mother?

10. Where does Dimmesdale go at the beginning of Chapter 12, and why?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The mood and tone of this work is dark, which is largely achieved through its setting in Puritan New England. Discuss the various ways Hawthorne achieves the uncanny mood and tone in this novel, including but not limited to: his use of witchcraft and the supernatural, his use of light/dark imagery, his use of "Nature" and natural objects, etc.

Essay Topic 2

One way that Hawthorne has structured this novel is symmetrical, with sets of mirror images radiating from a central chapter. Offering at least one example of this kind of symmetry, as well as examples of Hawthorne's reliance on "mirror images" or opposites for other purposes of this narrative, analyze the structure of this novel. You may want to concentrate on the very beginning of the narrative proper, the middle, and the very end to establish you clear vision of the "shape" or structure of the narrative.

Essay Topic 3

Offer a compare and contrast essay about the two major male characters in this book, Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth. Be sure to include analytical description of their looks and physical aspects, their emotional states, their motivations, and their conduct.

(see the answer keys)

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