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Ch a pter 13 – “ A nother View of Hester”. Hester’s “A” now means “Able”—for she gave so kindly to the poor and became such a good listener that many Puritans went to her with their troubles. IRONY - “The Scarlet A had the effect of the cross on a nun’s bosom.”.

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ch a pter 13 a nother view of hester
Chapter 13 – “Another View of Hester”

Hester’s “A” now means “Able”—for she gave so kindly to the poor and became such a good listener that many Puritans went to her with their troubles.

irony the scarlet a had the effect of the cross on a nun s bosom
IRONY - “The Scarlet A had the effect of the cross on a nun’s bosom.”
  • Ironically, the A was a punishment for a crime a nun would never commit and now it equals the trust, safety, goodness and purity of a nun.
  • Hester the adulterer is now considered as and compared to a nun.
  • The Scarlet A was almost magical.
allusion hester is once again compared to anne hutchinson
Allusion - Hester is once again compared to Anne Hutchinson
  • Anne challenged Puritan law.
  • She was an opinionated woman in a man’s world
  • She was a pioneer of civil liberty and religious freedom.
  • She was banished from Puritan Boston and later killed by Indians in NY.
hester is no longer beautiful she has covered her femininity and beauty
Hester is no longer beautiful. She has covered her femininity and beauty.
  • She keeps her hair covered and wears plain, Puritan clothing.
  • Symbolically, she is covering her own femininity.
  • She has had a hard, sad, lonely life.
  • She is bitter.
  • She has no friends.
  • She has not been able to be with the man she loves.
  • Although many Puritans view Hester in a positive way, they are not friendly to her.
  • Hester has lost her beauty, for “there seemed to be no longer anything in Hester’s face for Love to dwell upon”
the time is now
The time is now…
  • She knows Chillingworth is slowly destroying and even killing Dimmesdale.
  • Hester makes it her ultimate duty to save Dimmesdale from Chillingworth—she thinks she owes it to him.

Is it too late?

ch a pter 14 hester and the physici a n
Chapter 14: Hester and the Physician
  • Chillingworth admits to Hester he is doing the work of the Devil.
  • Hester no longer wants to keep their marriage a secret from Dimmesdale.
  • Hester admits she still loves Dimmesdale.
  • Chillingworth feels Hester has more than paid for her crime.
  • Chillingworth admits all of their lives would have been better if they had never married each other.
  • Their marriage was truly the foundation of all the bad that had occurred.

Chillingworth’s appearance is becoming more old, evil and deformed.

  • He admits that he has turned into a fiend even though he was once a kind person.
  • Hester asks Chillingworth to stop prying into Dimmesdale’s soul because Dimmesdale has paid enough. Chillingworth states that Dimmesdale hasn’t even begun to pay for how he has destroyed Chillingworth.
  • Chillingworth says that Hester’s initial sin caused all the events to happen, but now fate is controlling their lives.

“It is our fate! Let the black flower blossom as it may!”


“But the former aspect of an intellectual and studious man, calm and quiet, which was what she best remembered in him, had altogether vanished…”

  • “Ever and anon, too, there came a glare of red light out of his eyes; as if the old man’s soul were on fire, and kept on smoldering duskily within his breast…”
  • “In a word, old Roger Chilliingworth was a striking evidence of man’s faculty of transforming himself into a devil…”
  • “Your clutch is on his life, and you cause him to die daily a living death; and still he knows you not.”
  • “But for my aid, his life would have burned away in torments, within the first two years after the perpetration of his crime and thine….”
  • “Better he had died at once!”
  • “…A mortal man, with once a human heart, has become a fiend for his especial torment!”
  • “Hast thou not tortured him enough?”
  • “No—no! He ha but increased the debt!”
  • “There is no good for him,—no good for me,—no good for thee! There is no good for little Pearl! There is no path to guide us out of this dismal maze!”
  • “There might be good for thee, and thee alone, since thou hast been deeply wronged, and hast it at thy will to pardon.”
  • “By thy first step awry thou didst plant the germ of evil; but since that moment, it has all been a dark necessity….It is our fate. Let the black flower blossom as it may!”
ch a pter 15 hester and pe a rl
Chapter 15: “Hester and Pearl”
  • Hester admits that she, too, hates Chillingworth and realizes that it was he who “[had] done [her] worse wrong” for having forced her to marry him even when she had not loved him.
  • Hester recalls once happy moments with Chillingworth in England, but now those memories make her angry and sick.
pe a rl s n a tur a l intuition
Pearl’s Natural Intuition
  • Pearl is described to be very happy in nature, as if she is one with it. Could it be that she is a product of nature rather than sin?
  • Pearl creates her own letter “A” out of eel-grass and asks her mother what it means.
  • Hester realizes that Pearl, now seven, may actually be able to learn from her mistake if Hester teaches her what the “A” symbolizes.
  • Hester asks Pearl if she knows why she has to wear the Scarlet Letter.
  • Pearl says for the same reason the minister keeps his hand over his heart.
  • Pearl says that the Black Man can explain why.
  • Pearl continues to see the truth and wants it to be revealed so they can all find happiness.
  • Pearl makes the connection between Hester’s “A” and Dimmesdale’s hand over his heart—but does she really know that the two are connected?