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The Scarlet Letter Debate Questions

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Rachael Hastings

on 15 September 2015

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Transcript of The Scarlet Letter Debate Questions

Chillingworth tortures Dimmesdale throughout the book, slowly driving him to madness in an attempt to receive justice. Where does justice cross the line into revenge?
Throughout the book, Hester is constantly judged and mocked by the very people she helps. Why are some people entitled to make judgments of others?
Hester suffers alone for a majority of the book, because of her refusal to name the father. If Dimmesdale had been revealed as Hester's lover at the beginning of the book, receiving justice then, what judgment would he have received? Would Hester and Dimmesdale be treated differently?
Pearl seems to be representative of Hester's conscience throughout the book. Recognizing this, how does Pearl's reaction upon seeing Hester without the letter seem? Why does Hester judge herself so harshly?
The townspeople seem to take a vicious pleasure in judging and tormenting Hester. Why do they find pleasure in this? Is this part of her penance, or added cruelty?
Hester's punishment for adultery is her isolation and the scarlet letter. Was Hester's punishment too strict, or was it simply justice? Why?
Chillingworth tortures Dimmesdale throughout the book, leaving Dimmesdale a sick wreck. Were Chillingworth's actions towards Dimmesdale justifiable? Do you think Chillingworth got justice ?
Hester's punishment is the scarlet A and her isolation from the town. Do you think Dimmesdale's unseen judgement and torment was worse than Hester's public one? Why?
Chillingworth spends seven years of his life subtly torturing Hester's lover. Does Chillingworth deserve judgement for his actions, or is he justified?
Throughout the book, Chillingworth is a constant tormentor to Dimmesdale, even when he is not around, he is lurking in the back of Dimmesdale's mind. Does Chillingworth get vengeance by the end of the book? Was it worth it?
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