Answer all the questions and drop the document in the Chapter 1 – The Scarlet Letter Dropbox. 1. Hawthorne’s historical references are deliberately imprecise, but the decade of the 1640s is the approximate period when The Scarlet Letter takes place. The characters he describes in the first paragraph are early Massachusetts settlers, Puritan dissenters. What does Hawthorne’s description of their clothing convey about their characters? They were very strict with everything they did, and everyone wore pretty much the same thing. . Why did these religiously oriented colonists establish a prison and a cemetery among their first public institutions? What do these institutions acknowledge about human nature? They were very strict on religion and behavior. They liked to keep peace and order 3. Consider Hawthorne’s description of the rusted iron and the “antique” “oaken door” of the prison. Are these descriptions realistic, since the prison was built by colonists who had been in Boston less than twenty years? How does this kind of manipulation of detail reflect Hawthorne’s theory of the romance?
What might this ancient quality of the prison door symbolize? 4. What does Hawthorne define as the origin and purpose of the “wild rose-bush” beside the prison door? It was grown when Pearl was born; it signifies beauty can come from bad things 5. What symbolic meaning does Hawthorne give to the rose in the last lines of the chapter? Given this symbolic importance, why does Hawthorne call this chapter “The Prison Door” rather than “The Wild Rose”? Because the point was the rose was next to the prison door. The rose wasn’t the main point
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