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Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's ' Scarlet Letter '

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AP Short Form “Scarlett Letter”
AP English Language and Composition

Title: Scarlet Letter

Author and Date of Publication: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Publication in 1850

Significance of the Title: This book was titled The Scarlet Letter because the plot of the novel is centered around the question of who, besides Hetser is the other adulteress.

Main Characters: Hester Prynne - The character of Hester is labeled as an adulteress, and is condemned to wear the scarlet letter for the rest of her days. She is the book’s protagonist, and at a young age was married to the scholar known as Roger Chillingworth.

Pearl Prynne - Pearl is a child of lust and sin, and was born to Hester Prynne after her affair with Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Pearl’s
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Dimmesdale is a man who is in touch with his emotions, and can be described as a very intelligent individual. As a result, his sermons are incredibly intricate and extremely fluent.

Roger Chillingworth - Hester’s husband, Roger Chillingworth is a well known scholar who acquires land in the New World. Chillingworth sends his wife, Hester, to America to claim this land. Chillingworth has a very antisocial personality, and is often secluding himself from social scenes and other events. When Hester has an affair during her time in the New World, Chillingworth makes it his mission to find her lover, and seek revenge. Chillingworth is easily the most monstrous character in the novel, making him the antagonist.

Minor Characters: Governor Bellingham - As a wealthy and elderly man, Bellingham spends much of his time consulting with the town’s fathers. Although he is responsible for a growing American society, his mannerisms are much like those of a wealthy Englishman. Bellingham strongly believes in sticking to the rules however, he is quite easily convinced by Reverend Dimmesdale’s eloquence. He is also incredibly naive, regretting to notice the atrocities in his own household.

Mistress Hibbins - As a widow, Hibbins lives with her brother, who is Governor Bellingham. Mistress Hibbins acts as an example to readers of the hypocrisy and evil that can be present in a puritan
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