The Scarlet Letter - Study Guide Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 62 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Scarlet Letter.
This section contains 138 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Scarlet Letter Study Guide

Chapter 1 Summary

The denizens of Salem stand outside the great oak door of the prison waiting for the prisoner to emerge. It is ancient door by now, studded with spikes and stained with age, a foreboding portal to the grim justice of the Puritanical magistrate. By the door, there is a wild rosebush, from which the author symbolically plucks a single of its flowers for the reader. Hawthorne hopes that this blossom's fragrance and brightness may serve to alleviate, if but for a moment, the travails of the reader, who is about to experience a dark and sorrowful little tale.

Chapter 1 Analysis

Hawthorne, even from the beginning of the narrative, seems to side with the victim of this tale of Puritanism. We, the readers, are, like-wise, the prisoners of this dark tale, needing the relief of this fragile blossom.

(read more from the Chapter 1 Summary)

This section contains 138 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Scarlet Letter Study Guide
Copyrights
Novels for Students
The Scarlet Letter from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.