The Scarlet Letter Chapter Summaries

question

Chapter 1
answer

This chapter introduces some facts regarding the town. It describes how there is a prison in the Middle of town. On the outside of the prison is a rose bush (symbolism). It gives reference to Anne Hutchinson, who was the one who spoke out against the Puritan beliefs
question

Chapter 2
answer

Hester Prynne, a young woman holding an infant emerges from the prison door and makes her way to the scaffold. While she stood atop the scaffold people judged her, however one woman defended her.
question

Chapter 3
answer

Hester recognizes her husband. Her husband starts to ask a stranger, who is on the scaffold. Her husband realizes it is her. he wants to find out, who was the man to do this. He wants to get revenge on this man
question

Chapter 4
answer

They are pestering Hester to admit the truth. However she refuses to tell them of the true identity of the man. Dimmesdale shows compassion towards Hester
question

Chapter 5
answer

Hester has the choice to leave Boston, but she chooses not to. She finds a log cabin out by the shore. She makes money by sewing and making clothing for the rich
question

Chapter 6
answer

Pearl is now becoming older. The older she is becoming the more frightened Hester becomes. She laughs at her mother when she cries. Pearl says witch’s chants. Hester explains/compares Pearl to an elf-like child
question

Chapter 7
answer

Hester goes to the governor’s hall. She has two missions 1. to deliver ornate gloves to the governor and 2. to clear/figure the rumors out about if Pearl will be taken away from her. The Governor is going to see if Hester is capable of raising er
question

Chapter 8
answer

Bellingham, Wilson, Chillingworth, and Dimmesdale arrive at the Governor’s house. They ask why Hester should keep Pearl. Hester says she’s the only one to understand Pearl. Dimmesdale shows compassion, therefore Hester is aloud to keep Pearl
question

Chapter 9
answer

Roger Chillingworth’s nickname is the Leech. He was called this because he was a physician. It tells the story of how Chillingworth studied in Europe. Chillingworth lives with Dimmesdale
question

Chapter 10
answer

The Leech’s biggest mystery is Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale has an unknown ailment. Chillingworth becomes suspicious of him, but Dimmesdale apologizes for his actions. Still Chillingworth is suspicious, therefore he sneaks up on Arthur and pull his shirt off to reveal his suspicions true.
question

Chapter 11
answer

Chillingworth plays mind games with Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale becomes angry with him, but he doesn’t hold the anger for long. He keeps on having hallucination on Pearl and Hester. He physical tortures himself with whipping and fasting
question

Chapter 12
answer

Dimmesdale mounts the scaffold at night. he feels the pain of his chest and the weight the sin carries, so he screams out loud. He knows no one will hear him because they are all sleeping
question

Chapter 13
answer

Seven years have passed, Hester has changed. She is becoming more helpful in society. She is turned the “A” into “able” Pearl asks what the “A” means
question

Chapter 14
answer

Hester tells Chillingworth to stop tormenting the minister. He tells her the towns people were considering letting Hester take off the A. Hester wants to tell the minister that the physician is her husband, but Chillingworth threatens her not to
question

Chapter 15
answer

Hester hates Chillingworth. Pearl asks Hester what the A means, but she says not to ask her again. She realizes the child is too young to know
question

Chapter 16
answer

Hester and Pearl take a walk in the forest. Hester wants to tell Arthur about Chillingworth. Pearl asks and tells the story about the “Black Man”
question

Chapter 17
answer

Hester holds hands with Arthur. Dimmesdale blames Hester for his suffering because she tells him Chillingworth is her husband. Hester has an idea that her, Pearl, and Dimmesdale should move to Europe
question

Chapter 18
answer

Hester decides to take off the A. Dimmesdale is afraid Pearl won’t like him. Hester tries to reassure she will
question

Chapter 19
answer

Hester tries to call Pearl over, but she doesn’t come over until Hester puts the A back on . Dimmesdale gives a kiss tot her forehead, but she quickly washes it off
question

Chapter 20
answer

Dimmesdale is in jublient, yet weird state as he leaves the forest. Hester has a getaway ship that is leaving in four days. Dimmesdale returns home to tell Chillingworth that he won’t need his medicine. Arthur writes a sermon for Election Day
question

Chapter 21
answer

There is a celebration in the marketplace. Pearl wonders if the minister will join hands with her in public. The captain tells Hester the ship needs a doctor, so Chillingworth will be coming, plus he said he was part of their group
question

Chapter 22
answer

Hester noticed that Dimmesdale looks completely better. Pearl wants to bestow a kiss on Dimmesdale, but Hester scolds her. Mistress Hibbins (who later is executed for being a witch) tells Hester that Pearl’s father is the Devil. Chillingworth will make arrangements for him and the minister. Everyone begins to stare at her
question

Chapter 23
answer

Dimmesdale’s speech focuses on the relationship between God and the communities. People are moved. Arthur pulls Hester and Pearl to the scaffold, where he removes his garments and reveals his secret. Pearl bestows a kiss on him. Hester asked if they would see each other in the afterlife. Dimmesdale says it’s Gods choosing. He says his last goodbye and dies
question

Chapter 24
answer

People say some didn’t see the letter and some say they did. Some said he died from Chillingworth’s black magic of his remorse. Chillingworth dies a year later leaving a good inheritance to Pearl. Pearl becomes the richest at that time. Hester and Pearl disappear after the physician dies. People say the scarlet A was a legend.

Get instant access to
all materials

Become a Member