The why the story was written and

The Custom-House Introductory

The summary of the custom-house is how the author came to
find out about “The Scarlet Letter”. The narrator seems to find lots
of similarities between himself and the characters in the book and he really
wants to write about them. In the ‘chapter’ he talks about losing his job and
exploring the town and the puritan ancestors and decides to write about Hester
and the romance. This introduction helps us as the readers to understand why
the story was written and what the origin of the idea came from, which makes
reading the actual story more interesting for the reader because you can keep
relating things in the story to his life or the puritan community.

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Chapter 1: The Prison Door

The summary of this chapter is that Hester Prynne is
introduced and we get to learn that she sinned and is in a prison. The rosebush
is also introduced in this chapter and it represents the light at the end of
the tunnel for her. The rosebush plays a huge role in this chapter as a symbol,
the chapter states “relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty
and sorrow.” Showing it represents hope for Hester. This chapter is mainly
just Hester in the prison with her baby and people crowd around to wonder who
she is and what she has done.



Chapter 2: The Market-place

Predictions I have based on this chapter is Hester will be
discriminated by her community because she committed adultery which is one of
the biggest sins a person could commit in a puritan society. I feel like this
will lead to major conflict in the story. She cheated on her husband and had a
baby with another man and I feel like her husband will somehow get revenge on
the mystery man and this may be the climax of the book. Hester’s husband may do
something to Hester or her baby if he gets that angry. I also predict that her
community will be very mean to her because she walks into the town in this
chapter and the women of the town talk poorly about her, “This woman has
brought shame upon us all, and ought to die…” Showing how much hatred
that she’s currently getting and how much she may get in the future of the


Chapter 3: The Recognition

The textual observations I made in this chapter was an
enormous amount of imagery and similes. An example of a simile in the text is
“A writhing horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake
gliding swiftly over them…” Showing the reader how his face looked, this
example also represents imagery because it makes us think of the scenario in
our minds. This has a huge effect on the readers because it brings them into
the story and makes them think of the story in their head which leads to
different interpretations. The imagery also lets us as the readers imagine what
the characters look like. When they described Hester as “youthful and
fair” it made me imagine a young and beautiful woman, in contrast of the
women in the town.


Chapter 4: The Interview

A summary of this chapter is Hester’s husband, Chillingworth
comes to see her to treat her and her baby. Hester knows who he is and is
scared of him because she knows that behind the nice doctor front that he is a
bad man, what the town refers to as the “black man”. In this chapter,
Chillingworth gives Hester and her baby some medicine to make them relaxed.

Hester didn’t want the medicine at first because she believed that he was going
to poison her but she takes the medicine anyway, because in death she would be
free of him. Chillingworth wants Hester to confess who the father of the baby
is and keeps forcing her to say something but she doesn’t and he gives up, this
chapter is where you really get to see how bad their marriage was and still is.


Chapter 5: Hester at Her Needle

The character development observations I made during this
chapter was a big change in Hester since her imprisonment. Since she was in
confinement for a few months, she has had time to reflect on her sin. When she
gets let out, she takes to sewing clothes and gown for the community to support
herself and Pearl. Hester also helps people in the community and tries to make
the best of her sin, but people in the community still shame her horribly for
what she has done. Hester turns a little cold toward her community because they
just won’t forgive her no matter what she does and how nice she is. The
community and the women in it have no character development, they still remain
cold and jealous toward Hester because of her sin and her looks.



Chapter 6: Pearl

The summary of this chapter is that we get to learn more
about Hester’s child, Pearl who is very abrasive and curious about life and her
mother. Hester had to buy Pearl because it was a sin to own Pearl without
paying since she was born out of wedlock. The people in the community believed
she was “An imp of evil, emblem and product of sin…” and that Pearl
couldn’t be among the other children. Pearl is a wild child that is not afraid
to confront people if they don’t like her. Basically, this chapter is
introducing Pearl and showing that she is not like the other children and
showing the importance of her character, which I’m sure is going to play a
major role in the rest of the story.


Chapter 7: The Governor’s Hall

The predictions I have for the rest of the book based on
this chapter is that Pearl will become a bigger problem in the future. In this
chapter Pearl seems to be a big issue and I feel that in the future of the
story, Pearl will have a big role in the climax. I feel that in the future,
Hester may resent Pearl because she’s such a problem child and doesn’t fit in
with any of the kids in the community. Pearl is also very intelligent for her
age, “with the elfish intelligence that was so familiar an expression on
her small physiognomy.” Her intelligence shows in her actions in the story
so far, so I feel in the future that her intelligence and curiosity could raise
some questions in the community.



Chapter 8: The Elf-Child and The Minister

The summary of this chapter is that Pearl gets teased by the
authorities in the room and gets called a “demon child”. This chapter
bases around whether Hester should be able to keep her daughter Pearl. Wilson
and Dimmesdale argue back and forth on the debate of whether Hester is fit to
take care of her daughter and Dimmesdale seems to defend Pearl, saying that she
is a gift from god and everything happens for a reason. Pearl also keeps her
mother from going to the witch gathering that Mistress Hibbins invited her to,
this shows that Pearl can keep her mother in check and I think that’s a very important
part of the chapter. Wilson and Bellingham agree that Hester should be able to
keep Pearl.


Chapter 9: The Leech

The character development observations I made in this
chapter was the development as Roger Chillingworth as a character. He has developed
as a very secretive person, except to Hester because she knows what he’s really
like and he doesn’t want her telling the community his dark secrets.

Chillingworth is a very mean and sinister character, he’s a doctor for
Dimmesdale and I personally believe that he’s slowly poisoning him because
Dimmesdale seems to get sicker and sicker everyday with him as a doctor.

Chillingworth is often called a “leech” because he takes people
blood. “Leech” can often represent a symbol of himself because
leeches are terrible slimy creatures that use people for what they want, this
is very true when describing Chillingworth. Much of the town believes that
Chillingworth is “the devil” because of the rumors of his past that


Chapter 10: The Leech and his Patient

The summary of this chapter is that Chillingworth is
Dimmesdale’s doctor. Dimmesdale is skeptical about the herbs that Chillingworth
is using. They both start to talk about sin, and confessing, I feel that
Chillingworth is doing this to Dimmesdale because he wants him to confess his
sins and secrets so that he can have dirt to hold over Dimmesdale. Hester and
Pearl see Chillingworth with Dimmesdale and they walk away because Hester calls
Chillingworth “the black man” and that they need to stay away from
him. Dimmesdale has made Chillingworth even more suspicious about him,
especially at the end of the chapter.


Chapter 11: The Interior of a Heart

Predictions I have for the rest of the book based on this
chapter is I predict that Chillingworth will get even more impatient with
Dimmesdale and eventually snap. I believe this because in the story it states
“…continued his habits of social familiarity with the old man…”
This shows Chillingworth is doing everything he’s doing for the sole purpose of
Dimmesdale confessing to his deepest darkest secrets. I believe this will
eventually play a big part in the rest of the story. I also predict that
Dimmesdale will find out what he’s doing and confront him. I believe it will
lead to a big fight and might even lead to death between one of the characters.





Chapter 12: The Minister’s Vigil

The summary of this chapter is that Dimmesdale’s sin is too
much for him and he goes to the scaffold. Dimmesdale starts to hallucinate and
see different people looking at him, judging him. He even starts to scratch at
his chest as if the scarlet letter “A” was on his chest.

Chillingworth eventually finds him on the scaffold and brings him down and
tells Dimmesdale that he must have sleepwalked. This whole chapter brings
suspense to what Dimmesdale’s sin is and why it’s affecting him so badly.


Chapter 13: Another View of Hester

The character development observations I made was that
Hester had changed a lot since the birth of Pearl seven years ago. Hester has
changed because she often helps the town a lot and has even changed the meaning
of the “A” on her chest from adulterer to “able” in the
community. A negative downside of her character development through the story
is that she has because a cold hard shell of her former self. Hester believes
something is wrong with Pearl and it has taken a toll on her mental health. I
believe that her changes can be blamed on the community because they treat her
so poorly and Hester tries and tries to get on their good side but it never
works and I can see how that would take a toll on her personality and





Chapter 14: Hester and the Physician

Questions I am left with after reading this chapter is why
does Chillingworth become such an evil, terrible man? I understand that he is consumed
in his own misery and mind, but any normal person wouldn’t let an affair affect
them this badly. Chillingworth is going above and beyond with the obsession of
finding out who the father of Pearl is. I’m curious of what has happened in his
past that has made him this evil man who cares nothing more to get revenge on
the people that he hates instead of moving on. Another question I’m left with
is why doesn’t Hester just leave and move somewhere else and start a new life?


Chapter 15: Hester and Pearl

The summary of this chapter is that Hester finally comes to
accept that she hates Chillingworth, even though it’s a sin to hate your spouse
in that time. Also, in this chapter, Pearl makes a green “A” on her
chest out of seaweed. Pearl hopes that Hester will ask about the letter because
Pearl is super curious about the letter that her mother wears and wants to know
what it means. Pearl makes the connection between the “A” and
Dimmesdale when he clutches his heart and Pearl figures that the two must be
connected. Pearl starts to constantly bug her mother about the “A” on
her chest and Hester starts to get very annoyed with her.





Chapter 16: A Forest Walk

Predictions I have for the rest of the book based on this
chapter is that Hester and Dimmesdale have a deeper relationship than they let
on. I believe they are secretly in love with each other because of the way they
have been interacting the whole story. I predict that this will lead to a big
conflict because Hester has a husband and Dimmesdale is a priest and they are
committing a major sin. I believe that Dimmesdale is the father of Pearl. I
also predict that Dimmesdale and Chillingworth will have a big falling out
because of this conflict and like I predicted earlier, might even lead to


Chapter 17: The Pastor and His Parishioner

The summary of this chapter is Hester finally tells
Dimmesdale that Chillingworth is her husband. Dimmesdale reacts to that by
being very angry at her but eventually forgives her. Dimmesdale wants all of
them to be one big family and move to Europe to start over. Dimmesdale is
scared that Chillingworth knows about them and that Dimmesdale is the father of
Pearl. Dimmesdale doesn’t want Chillingworth to expose their secret to the
community. Dimmesdale will be shunned if the community finds out about his sins
because he is a priest and he’s supposed to know what not to do and he’s
supposed to be a very godly man yet he goes and commits one of the worst sins
there was. It’s very ironic what Dimmesdale did.




Chapter 18: A Flood of Sunshine

The predictions I have for the rest of the book based on
this chapter is that there will be something major that goes wrong when they’re
about to go to Europe. I believe this because everything is perfect in the
story right now, they’re about to go Europe, Dimmesdale and Hester are a couple
again and are finally happy. I believe this is going to change because in every
book and movie I’ve ever read or seen, something bad happens to make the
characters sad again if they are happy at the moment. I feel that Chillingworth
will somehow split them up and make them both unhappy and ruin their future


Chapter 19: The Child at the Brookside

The summary of this chapter is Hester had taken off her
scarlet “A” for Dimmesdale, but in order for Pearl to come over to
her mother and Dimmesdale, Hester had to put the “A” back on her
chest. Pearl kisses Hester and the “A” just to make her mad.

Dimmesdale kisses Pearl on the forehead and they let her go play. Pearl then
goes and scrubs the kiss off of her because Dimmesdale and Hester don’t want to
be seen in public as a couple because it’s a sin. Pearl doesn’t fully
understand that and wants them to be a family in public but that can’t happen.






Chapter 20: The Minister in a Maze

The questions I’m left with after reading this chapter is,
does Dimmesdale have more than one child? I believe it’s possible because the
women in the town say that he’s very attractive and very possible that Pearl
isn’t his only child. In the text it states “…celebrate his victory over
this last temptation…” Showing that he has little control over himself
around women. This supports my claim that he may have more than one child.


Chapter 21: The New England Holiday

The summary of this chapter is that everyone in the town
gather at the scaffold, but for good reasons. They gather there because they
are appointing a new governor. The atmosphere is very light and happy, because
Hester, Dimmesdale, and Pearl are getting ready to leave for Europe very soon. That
dream is soon crushed because Hester soon finds out that they need a doctor on
board and they are using Chillingworth. Now their dream is pretty much crushed
because Chillingworth knows about them and will do everything in his power to
make sure that their future together is anything but happy.







Chapter 22: The Procession

The summary of this chapter is that Mistress Hibbins says
that that the devil is Pearl’s father. Dimmesdale also starts to look healthier
day by day and everything seems to be going very smoothly in the town except
for the fact that Chillingworth is going on the trip with them to Europe.

Something fishy happens when Chillingworth says that Hester and Pearl should
board the ship without Dimmesdale. When Chillingworth tells her that, everyone
in the town seems to be staring at her. I predict that something bad is going
to happen to Dimmesdale.


Chapter 23: The Revelation of The Scarlet Letter

The question I’m left with after finishing this very sad
chapter is what would happen if Dimmesdale didn’t die? I believe him and Hester
would live a very long and happy life. I get that he died a sort of honorable
death because he did his most powerful sermon. I just wish that he would’ve
just confessed his sins and ran away with Hester. This chapter makes me mad
because it seems like Dimmesdale just gave up and didn’t fight to stay with