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. Where does Dimmesdale imagine a "scarlet token?"

2. How many years have passed so far in this novel, in Chapter 13?

3. Who is said to haunt the forest outside town, carrying a big, heavy book with him?

4. According to Hester in Chapter 16, where does she tell Pearl she got the scarlet letter?

5. "Its ranks were filled with gentlemen, who felt the stirrings of martial impulse" describes which group of men in the procession referred to in the title of Chapter 22?

Short Essay Questions

1. Many people pass Dimmesdale by in this chapter; why are so many people up so late and walking about?

2. In Chapter 14, what does Hester ask of Chillingworth?

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

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

5. Why does Hawthorne describe Pearl, in Chapter 19, as a "living hieroglyphic."

6. Why will Hester and Dimmesdale have to head back to Europe, instead of moving somewhere more rural or remote?

7. When Dimmesdale refuses to travel and quit his post as minister, how does Hester change his mind?

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

9. Why, at the end of the book, is Hester making a baby garment?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Pearl is enigmatic, first because she is an infant and then because of her other-worldliness, but she plays a key role in structuring the narrative of Hester Prynne. Consider Pearl's function in this narrative--as a symbol, as a plot device, as well as as a character in her own right--and write an analytical essay that interprets how Pearl is characterized and the primary fictional methods Hawthorne uses to paint a picture of her.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

One theme of this novel is the competition between science and medicine on the one hand and religion on the other, particularly in terms of someone's physical well-being. Write an essay that describes the theme of sickness, health, and wellness (in terms of both the physical as well as the emotional/mental) that takes into account Hawthorne's dramatizing of a competition between science and medicine.

(see the answer keys)

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