The Scarlet Letter

Overview

The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also feature glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format.


In CliffsNotes on Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, you explore life in 17th-century Massachusetts as you follow the ordeal of Hester Prynne, who has been found guilty of adultery and sentenced to wear a ...

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Overview

The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also feature glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format.


In CliffsNotes on Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, you explore life in 17th-century Massachusetts as you follow the ordeal of Hester Prynne, who has been found guilty of adultery and sentenced to wear a scarlet letter A on her dress as a sign of shame. The Scarlet Letter is considered to be Hawthorne's finest work, depicting a world where the real meets the unreal, the actual meets the imaginary — in a classic story that is difficult to forget.


This study guide carefully walks you through every step of Hester's journey by providing summaries and critical analyses of each chapter of the novel. You'll also explore the life and background of the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and gain insight into how he came to write The Scarlet Letter. Other features that help you study include

  • Character analyses of major players
  • A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters
  • Critical essays on the novel's setting and structure, symbolism, and classification as a gothic romance
  • A review section that tests your knowledge
  • A Resource Center full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites


Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611067767
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 3/28/2011
  • Series: Cliffs Notes Series , #0
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Van Kirk has taught high school English in Monmouth, Illinois, for 30 years.

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Table of Contents

Life and Background of the Author 1
Early/Formative Years 2
New Challenges and Writings 4
The Autumn of His Life 5
Introduction to the Novel 6
Introduction 7
List of Characters 11
Character Map 12
Critical Commentaries 13
The Custom House 14
Summary 14
Commentary 14
Chapter 1 The Prison-Door 16
Summary 16
Commentary 16
Chapter 2 The Market-Place 19
Summary 19
Commentary 19
Chapter 3 The Recognition 22
Summary 22
Commentary 22
Chapter 4 The Interview 25
Summary 25
Commentary 25
Chapter 5 Hester at Her Needle 27
Summary 27
Commentary 27
Chapter 6 Pearl 30
Summary 30
Commentary 30
Chapter 7 The Governor's Hall 32
Summary 32
Commentary 32
Chapter 8 The Elf-Child and the Minister 35
Summary 35
Commentary 35
Chapter 9 The Leech 38
Summary 38
Commentary 38
Chapter 10 The Leech and His Patient 41
Summary 41
Commentary 41
Chapter 11 The Interior of a Heart 44
Summary 44
Commentary 44
Chapter 12 The Minister's Vigil 46
Summary 46
Commentary 46
Chapter 13 Another View of Hester 49
Summary 49
Commentary 49
Chapter 14 Hester and the Physician 51
Summary 51
Commentary 51
Chapter 15 Hester and Pearl 52
Summary 52
Commentary 52
Chapter 16 A Forest Walk 54
Summary 54
Commentary 54
Chapter 17 The Pastor and His Parishioner 56
Summary 56
Commentary 57
Chapter 18 A Flood of Sunshine 59
Summary 59
Commentary 59
Chapter 19 The Child at the Brook-Side 61
Summary 61
Commentary 62
Chapter 20 The Minister in a Maze 63
Summary 63
Commentary 64
Chapter 21 The New England Holiday 66
Summary 66
Commentary 66
Chapter 22 The Procession 68
Summary 68
Commentary 69
Chapter 23 The Revelation of the Scarlet Letter 71
Summary 71
Commentary 72
Chapter 24 Conclusion 74
Summary 74
Commentary 75
Character Analyses 77
Hester Prynne 78
Arthur Dimmesdale 81
Roger Chillingworth 83
Pearl 87
Critical Essays 90
Symbolism in The Scarlet Letter 91
The Puritan Setting of The Scarlet Letter 97
The Scarlet Letter as a Gothic Romance 102
The Structure of The Scarlet Letter 105
CliffsNotes Review 109
Q&A 109
Identify the Quote 110
Essay Questions 110
Practice Projects 111
CliffsNotes Resource Center 112
Books 112
Internet 113
Magazines and Journals 113
Video 114
Send Us Your Favorite Tips 114
Index 115
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