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. What does Hester tell Dimmesdale about Chillingworth in Chapter 17?

2. What is the title of Chapter 18?

3. Who inherited money and property from Chillingworth?

4. Who retrieves the object that Hester flings away?

5. When Pearl repeatedly asks Hester what the letter stand for, what does Hester tell her in Chapter 15?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. According to the narrator, what appeared to be Dimmesdale's subject, in his sermon in Chapter 23?

5. 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?

6. Why does Hester say that Dimmesdale should travel somewhere, "whether in some remote village or in vast London, [...] in Germany, in France," etc?

7. What kinds of thoughts occur to Dimmesdale when he sees a deacon on the way home in Chapter 20 and why?

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

9. What, according to the narrator, enlivened the public holiday with "some diversity of hue?"

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Much of the emotional struggle in this novel comes from a tension between public shame and private guilt. In an analytical essay, explain what each of these terms means in the scope of this novel, and how Hawthorne dramatizes each idea. Be sure to interpret them in terms of the fictional elements (characterization, setting, plot action, mood, etc.) Hawthorne uses to demonstrate them.

Essay Topic 2

Hawthorne plays with the notion of a happy ending near the end of the novel, teasing the reader with the notion that Dimmesdale and Hester might indeed live out a happily-ever-after ending. Consider the fates of the three major characters (Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth) and argue whether they experienced a happy ending or not. Be sure to use comparative analysis and textual examples.

Essay Topic 3

One major set of symbols in this work has to do with an interplay of the supernatural and the natural, both of which express various emotions or meanings at particular times in the book. Incorporating at least three examples from each category (three examples of the natural and three of the supernatural), define these concepts in terms of Hawthorne's novel, and interpret your examples in a comparative manner to show how they function in helping Hawthorne's narrator tell this story.

(see the answer keys)

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