Scarlet Letter Chapter 16-18
Flashcard maker : Lily Taylor
Explain the significance of sunlight imagery.
Earlier in the novel, Hester told Pearl she could never offer her sunlight. Now, she wants to catch the sunlight for Pearl and can’t – because Hester and Pearl are still not at peace with one another since she refuses to identify the meaning of the scarlet letter and the father.
When Hester determines to warm Dimmesdale about Chillingsworth, why does the meeting take place in the forest?
It is the only place where they can be together secretly, outside of society’s reach.
What positive/negative significance does the forest begin to take on?
For some, it is a place of wrong doing and sinister thoughts. For others, it is a place of happiness and freedom.
In what ways does Hester acknowledge her sin to Pearl?
She tels Pearl that her A is the mark of the Black Man whom she met in the forest once before.
How is Hawthorne advancing his theme of the difference between revealed and secret sin?
Revealed sin (Hester) can be worked through and possibly forgiven. Secret sin (Dimmesdale) tortures you and will ruin you both mentally and physically.
Explain the distinction between penance and penitence.
Penance is actually punishing yourself for the sin while penitence is showing regret for the sin.
What do we learn is the emotional connection between Hester and Dimmesdale? Why is this significant to the developing theme of the book?
We learn for sure that Dimmesdale is the father and that they love one another. We see how their lives have played out in revealed sin versus secret sin.
Do you believe Hester is to blame for Dimmesdale’s suffering during the past seven years? Why or why not?
Miss Lloyd does not blame Hester. Dimmesdale could have come forward with the truth of his secret sin at any point. [This question is an opinion, make sure you can back your opinion up if this is on the quiz.]
What theme about nature of sin finally begins to emerge in Hester and Dimmesdale’s conversation?
There is a hierarchy of sin and Dimmesdale and Hester are not the worst sinners. Chillingsworth is the worst sinner for using their sins against them as an excuse for revenge.
Who are the heartless people with laws of iron to whom Hester refers?
The townspeople who use the Puritan religion to punish others.
The chapter ends on an optimistic notes. What is the source of optimism. [CHAPTER 17]
Hester decides that no matter what is decided, she and Dimmesdale will face it together; even if their lives are going to end in the colony.
What contrast does the narrator point out between Hester and Dimmesdale’s ability to leave town?
Hester, through all her punishments, seems to have been waiting for a chance to flee and no one will question it. People will question why Dimmesdale leaves.
Why does Dimmesdale decide to leave with Hester?
He wants to leave with Hester and Pearl so they can live as a family.
What is significant about the title of the chapter, “A Flood of Sunshine”?
It goes back to the symbol of sunshine. Hester has finally admitted to Dimmesdale being the father so she is once more able to be in the sunlight.
How does Hawthorne reinforce his idea that nature is sympathetic with the union of Hester and Dimmesdale?
It is dark until they reunite, then we see the sunlight.
Why would children dislike Dimmesdale?
Children are the most perceptive in the novel so they would not like Dimmesdale for not being honest with himself.