The Scarlet Letter Test | Final Test - Hard

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Whom does Dimmesdale set out to meet?

2. Next to whom is Hester Prynne eventually buried?

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

4. What does Hester fling next to the brook?

5. Who is mentioned in Chapter 13 as a "foundress of a religious sect?"

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Community pressure to fit in and conform plays a major role in this narrative, particularly as compared to individual desires, either simply for individuality of expression or desires for things that are not sanctioned by the community. Write an essay that explains how Hawthorne dramatizes the tension between the pressure to conform on one hand and the risk of social stigma on the other. (You may want to pick a character that represents each, as a way to begin this analysis.)

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

The story starts with a mystery - the scrap of scarlet cloth Hawthorne finds in the Custom House - and builds narrative tension around an even greater mystery having to do with Pearl's parentage and Chillingworth's discovery. Describe the way "mystery" works in this novel: how and why does Hawthorne reveal or withhold key information from the reader?

(see the answer keys)

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