The Scarlet Letter Summary & Study Guide

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 1,435 words
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The Scarlet Letter opens with an expectant crowd standing in front of a Boston prison in the early 1640s. When the prison door opens, a young woman named Hester Prynne emerges, with a baby in her arms and a scarlet letter "A" richly embroidered on her breast. For her crime of adultery, to which both the baby and the letter attest, she must proceed to the scaffold and stand for Judgment by her community.

While on the scaffold, Hester remembers her past. In particular, she remembers the face of a "misshapen" man, "well stricken in years," with the face of a scholar. At this moment, the narrator introduces an aged and misshapen character, who has been living "in bonds" with "Indian" captors. He asks a bystander why Hester is on the scaffold. The brief story is told: two years earlier, Hester had preceded her husband to...

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This section contains 1,435 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Scarlet Letter Study Guide
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Novels for Students
The Scarlet Letter from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.