Summary Of ' The Book ' By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Chapter 1- 5 The book opens with a description of people founding a new colony, later revealed to be Boston, and setting aside parts for a cemetery and a prison. The prison is described as ugly and weather-stained. Also pointed out is the presence of a rose bush in front of the prison gate that has somehow been kept alive. A rose is offered to the reader on the basis that it could symbolize a “moral blossom” or “relieve the darkening close of a human frailty and sorrow” (Hawthorne 42). After this brief description, the story begins with a crowd gathering in front of the prison to see Hester Prynne serve her punishment. There are a group of hard-featured women who debate the punishment Hester has been given. They believe Hester’s…show more content…
He is then informed of Hester’s sin and that the baby’s father has not been exposed. Then, a shout comes from above Hester drawing her attention. It is from the balcony where the governor and men of dignity are seated, watching Hester’s punishment. The voice belonged to reverend John Wilson, the eldest clergy man of Boston. He introduces Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale who then speaks to Hester and the audience, asking Hester to tell them who the man involved is so that he may stand with her on the platform. [This part is rather interesting because prior to this I had always thought/been informed that everyone only cared about Hester’s sin. I had always blamed sexism and stereotypical gender roles as the reason behind Hester’s punishment but it seems that the people of Boston wanted to punish the male party just as much.] While Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale has a very convincing voice, Hester still refuses to give a name.
Hester is now again in her prison cell with her child and is obviously mentally unwell. A doctor is called and administers medicine to both Hester and her child. Hester admits to previously having suicidal thoughts and to being depressed. The stranger that was in the crowd comes to her cell; it is her husband, Roger Chillingworth. He expresses anger and disappointment in Hester’s actions and Hester retaliates by saying she made it clear she never loved him. Robert decides that he does not want his identity to
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