The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne study guide 3 chapters 6-10 (pp. 85-135)



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Mr. Maclin


The Scarlet Letter

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

STUDY GUIDE 3



CHAPTERS 6-10 (pp. 85-135)
Helpful definitions (use a dictionary to define other difficult words):

1. freak – sudden fancy, odd notion

2. selectmen –officials elected to manage town affairs

3. seven years’ slave –freeborn Englishman who indentured himself for seven years to a wealthy

person in return for passage to the New World



4. cuirass. . .gauntlets –parts of a suit of armor

5. panoply –full set of arms

6. Pequod war –conflict between the native Pequod people of southeast Connecticut and English colonists that lasted from 1633-1637

7. Bacon. . .Finch –Sir Francis Bacon, Sir Edward Coke, Sir William Noye, and Sir John Finch

were all prominent lawyers in England



8. frontispice –main façade or front part of a building

9. annals –historical records

10. eldritch –ghastly or eerie

11. indue –dress

12. King James’ reign –James Stuart, kind of England from 1603-1625

13. Lord of Misrule –figure said to rule through the Christmas holidays and to be guilty of

encouraging scandalous behavior.



14. bedizen –dress or decorate in a cheap, showy way

15. her of Babylon –a character from Rev. 17:4-5, associated with misdeeds

16. New England Primer –early schoolbook used to teach both moral lessons and the alphabet

17. Westminster Catechism –statement of Calvinist doctrine

18. mountebank –person who mounted a bench, or platform, in a public place and sold phony medicines, usually attracting an audience by tricks or stories.

19. tithing-men –elected officials charged with enforcing regulation of the colony

20. Leech –archaic term for doctor

21. chirurgical—surgical

22. Elixir of Life –substance, sought by alchemists, that would prolong life indefinitely

23. Gobelin looms –the cloth produced by the Gobelin family in 15th century Paris; was prized all

over the world



24. Holy Writ –the Bible
Study Questions
1. (a) How is Pearl described outwardly? (b) How is Pearl described inwardly? Cite some specific passages and their page numbers for both. (c) How do you interpret this contrast?
2. Why does Hester visit Governor Bellingham? What have the Puritans in the community threatened to do to her and Pearl, and why?
3. Explain how Dimmesdale “saves the day” for Hester and Pearl. In what way does “[Pearl] save [Hester] from Satan’s snare” (49)?
4. (a) Describe Dimmesdale’s physical condition. What possible causes for his decline are suggested? What do you think is the reason for this? (b) “Did he wish to die?” ( ) ---what do you think?
5. (a) Describe the relationship between Dimmesdale and Chillingworth. (b) Explain the irony about the tapestry hanging in the widow’s home where the two of them are staying.


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