Last Updated 18 Jan 2017

Scarlet Letter Notes Ch. 8-10

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Scarlet Letter Notes American Lit. ACC Per. 1 9/17/11 Chapters 8-10 Plot- (Chapter 8) Hester and Pearl meet Governor and guests. Governor and Wilson call Pearl a child of Satan or sin? Governor wants to remove Pearl from Hester’s care Hester says she can teach Pearl from her mistakes. Wilson questions Pearl regarding Christian faith. Pearl tries to escape through the window and refuses to answer his questions even though she probably would of gotten them right. Pearl announces she was not made but plucked from the rose bush. Wilson states Pearl should not be with Hester

Hester argues her case but the governor and Wilson don’t listen to her so she goes to Dimmesdale for help. Dimmesdale comes to her aid and argues her case. Succeeds and Minister and Governor rests the case. Pearl shows a sign of love towards Dimmesdale and he kisses her on her brow in return. Chillingworth tries to get the men to look for the father. Men refuse his plan. Governor’s sister invites Hester to witch’s ceremony. Hester refuses (CHAPTER9) Describes Chillingworth. He left behind his entire identity after he found out that his wife committed adultery.

He severed all ties with his past life and created a new identity as the town physician. The people like him because of his vast knowledge of herbs and medicine that he learned from being with native Americans for a long time. Treats Reverend Dimmesdale. People start to wonder if Dimmesdale wants to die or something else after he refuses treatment but later on accepts. Chillingworth scrutinizes Dimmesdale’s actions and finds something suspicious in them. The two men reside in the same house so that Chillingworth can take care of him. Dimmesdale has no interest in marrying any of the townswomen.

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They have live in two completely different kinds of rooms (holy vs. scientific) People start to wonder about the physician and the more they look at him his face becomes more evil and sooty. They began the theory that the physician was sent by the devil and is fighting a war with Dimmesdale making him sick. (CHAPTER10) CHillingworth wants to find out more about Dimmesdale’s background and his story. The men are talking about burying sin and a heart of sin They hear pearl and Hester outside in the graveyard. Pearl runs away telling her mom that the devil has gotten the minister and she dosent want him to get them too.

The two men talk and when the minister falls asleep, Chillingworth opens his shirt and finds something on him and rejoices. Setting- Governor Billingham’s Estate- grand estate filled with pictures of the Governor’s ancestors and decorated with medieval things (ex. The armor) Old English castle like. Chillingworth and Dimmesdale’s house- in between the church and the graveyard. Characters- Governor Billingham- old, elderly man who governs the town. Likes Old English things ( his house) John Wilson- strict pastor Hester Prynne- committed adultery and had a baby, Pearl.

Pearl- child of Hester and is accused of being a witch or child of Satan Dimmesdale- town’s reverend, health declining due to pastoral duties Chillingworth- friends with Dimmesdale, been in town for two to three years, physician Conflict- Hester Prynne v. Society- the people want to take away Pearl to educate her in a Christian manner but Hester states that Pearl is better of with her because she can learn from Hester’s mistake. Dimmesdale saves her by arguing her cause. Dimmesdale v Himself: He is described as more ill than before. He keeps his hand to his heart and “his large dark eyes had a world of pain in heir troubled and melancholy depth” (101). Religion v. Science- There had been many arguments between science and the divine nature. Chillingworth is science driven while Dimmesdale is devoted to God and his religion. This can become a greater conflict later on in the book. Chillingworth v. Dimmesdale- chillingworth is trying to find out the mystery behind the reverend. Townspeople v. Chillingworth- at first welcome him but then grow weary when his facial features turn evil and deceiving. Symbolism- Pearl- she is a physical representation of the scarlet letter, a constant reminder of Hester’s sin.

Saved Hester from becoming a witch after she was granted guardianship of Pearl forever. “Heavenly Father”- represents the God as the father of everyone and also my theory about Dimmesdale being the father since he is holy and a reverend. The House- it is pretty but it resides on and in between the graveyard and the church kind of like Dimmesdale himself. He is a reverend yet he looks physically dead because of his illness and heartache. Chillingworth- the Devil, from what Hester called him when they talked and what the people and the narrator describe as his changing features (demon-like)

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