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The Scarlett Letter. Chapter Five and Six. Cinthya Moreno & Skylar Menuey. CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY.

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the scarlett letter

The Scarlett Letter

Chapter Five and Six

Cinthya Moreno & Skylar Menuey

chapter five summary

Hester is finally released from prison has to start a new life. But instead of leaving Boston, she decides to stay because it was the scene of her crime and she feels its only fitting for her to carry out her punishment there. She will wear that letter for the rest of her life, becoming a symbol of female passion and temptation for the entire town. Although she is an outcast, Hester is able to support herself and Pearl due to her amazing talent in needlework. The beautiful, intense detail of her work made everyone, even the governor, wear it despite its shameful source. In fact, through her work, Hester touches all the major events of life except for marriage—it is deemed inappropriate for virgin brides to wear the product of Hester Prynne’s hands. She felt lonely so she decided to do charity work, but the people she usually helped only insulted herand her offers of kindness.

chapter six summary

Hester’s only consolation is her daughter, Pearl, who is described in great detail in this chapter. Pearl is named so because she was purchased with everything Hester had. Pearl lives a very harsh life since “in giving her existence a great law had been broken,” her very being seems to be inherently at odds with the strict rules of Puritan society. She loves her daughter, but Hester Prynne worries that there is something slightly wrong with her child. The other children are cruel because they can sense that something is not quite right about Hester and her child. Knowing that she is alone in this world, Pearl creates casts of characters in her imagination to keep her company. When kids are making fun of her she usually screams and throws rocks at them. Pearl is fascinated by the scarlet letter because she has a sense that is has something to do with her and the way people treat her. The people of the town sometimes see the way Pearl acts as “witchcraft” since she is so different from the rest of the children. They worry that she is a child possessed by a demon because of the sinful act that brought her into this world.

character analysis



A reference to Jesus' proverb describing heaven as a "pearl of great price“

She's pretty and charming

Pearl is passionate

She will NOT obey rules

  • Strong willed
  • Possesses an amazing skill with a needle that allows her to make a living.
  • The Scarlet Letter that she wears is burned very deeply into her soul and causes her physical pain.

Sin and Knowledge.

  • Hester commits a sin which gives her the earthly representations through her Scarlet Letter and her daughter Pearl.
  • Once Hester embraces her letter she starts to understand that she might not be alone in her sin.
  • She notices the way other women act about her Letter and it gives her a realization of the others out there who have sinned.


Both sign of Hester’s shame and her greatest AND only treasure.

Punishment and consolation

Represents something of great value.

She is an earthly representation of Hester’s sin on earth that goes with her Scarlet Letter.

cause and effect
    • Why something happens?


      • Because of Hester's sin (adultery).
    • What happens?


      • She could not aid to embroider the white veil which was to cover the pure blushes of a bride.
      • She gives birth to Pearl who is a constant reminder of her sin.
  • Hester did beautiful needlework and everyone would wear her work gladly to add the richer adornment to their fabrics of silk and gold, despite the shameful source. The only item she did not make for people was anything that was included in a wedding because of her sin it was considered inappropriate.
  • Hester was very restricted by her punishment and was not ever going to get to live down her letter, so through her own creativeness she made the letter of her punishment very beautiful.

Puritan Ideas

    • Fabric of silk and gold, characterized the Puritanical modes of dress (Pg. 85)
    • But Puritan kids, only knew how to play at going to church and “scouring Quakers” or taking scalps in a sham-fight with the Indians. Pearl’s wild imagination seemed a lot like witchcraft.
      • Because she's grown up as an outcast, even her imaginary friends are adversaries.


narrative voice
  • The narratation of chapters 5 and 6 is in third person.
  • The views shown by the people of the puritan town seem to go against what the narrator believes in because of his explanation of how Hester deals with her punishment and how she embraces it instead of hiding from it.


  • The idea of the activity is to use descriptive words and pictures to describe a subject like Hawthorne does throughout the book by being very descriptive and creative.
  • Each group will get a subject that they are to describe using 3 very descriptive terms( or phrases), and pictures so that other groups may guess who or what it is that they are describing.
  • Be as descriptive and creative as possible to make it easier for other groups to guess what you are describing.