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Summary Of Scarlet Letter

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Summary of The Scarlet Letter

Condemned to wear a bright red "A" over her chest wherever she went, Hester Prynne had been convicted of adultery by Boston's Puritan leaders. She had a child during her husband's long absence. She exited from the prison house under the gaze of her neighbors; Hester surprised the towns' people with her appearance of cold and silent dignity. Led to the town square, she went to the scaffolding, her babe cradled in her arms. There on the scaffolding she suffered ridicule and public rebuke. One "good woman" loudly condemned the complex letter Hester had in her frock. It was glowing scarlet, lavishly designed with important gold stitching, the required token of her deed. A minister in the crowd blamed her for the crime and told her to reveal the identity of her partner. Another minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, pled with her gently. Visiting Hester in her prison cell later that day, Chillingsworth told her not to betray him and made her swear not to expose him as her husband. Still, he vowed that he would discover the identity of his wife's lover.

Hester felt much more concern for her daughter, Pearl, than for herself. She cringed when the girl was pushed aside by other children. In contrast to Hester's notable dignity, Pearl displayed a wild, disorderly character, seeming incapable of natural affection. Sadly, the townspeople looked on Pearl as a kind of evil spirit the wicked offspring from a moment of unholy passion. Even Hester didn't understand her daughter, who served as both a comfort and a painful reminder of her past. Roger Chillingsworth was staying with Minister Dimmesdale and soon it became clear that Dimmesdale was indeed Hester's lover. Instead of exposing him, Chillingsworth chose to criticize the preacher's moral judgment. Dimmesdale's sense of guilt grew, eventually causing his health to fade. More than once the minister confessed his double standards and wanted to take his place beside Hester, but he was too afraid of the shame the confession would bring.

Years had passed and Hester, suffering in shame and isolation, devoting her life to charitable service and winning the trust of her peers. Pearl, growing into a lovely girl but still showing no signs of outgrowing

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