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The Scarlet Letter Chapter 22

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Albert Pimentel

on 14 January 2016

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Transcript of The Scarlet Letter Chapter 22

The Scarlet Letter
Chapter 22: The Procession
Summary
Fin
Thank you!
Summary cont.
Mistress Hibbins confronts Hester regarding Dimmesdale and makes a bold statement by saying the minister's "mark" on his chest is going to be visible just like Hesters and makes a final statement claiming that Pearl's father is the Devil.

Mistress Hibbins is hinted to be a witch and she will be executed because of it.

Hester then goes to attend Dimmesdale's sermon which is then completed inside the meetinghouse.

Pearl makes a second entrance in the chapter by confronting Hester again and informing her of a message from the captain claiming that Chillingworth will bring Dimmesdale on board and this is a consequetive interference from Chillingworth.

Everyone in public is staring at her.
5 Leveled Questions
Analysis

Chapter 22 expresses a primary feeling throughout its contents - tension. The town fathers enter the marketplace, with a more energetic, full of life Dimmesdale following close behind. Pearl is tempted to kiss him, possibly foreshadowing her newfound acceptance of Dimmesdale. Despite this, his newfound vigor only saddens Hester, because it makes him seem more isolate.

Mistress Hibbins is a representation of the hypocrisy and hidden evil within Puritan society, being that she is a witch, which contrasts with the expected holiness of the society. Hibbins' claims that soon Dimmesdale's letter will be visible to the public just like Hester's, along with her suggestions of Dimmedale being the devil and her offering of Pearl to go on a witch's ride are significant in that they show that Hester's troubles are not yet over. At the same time, news of her execution shows signify that her problems will eventually come to an end. Election Day continues, and word gets to Hester that Chillingworth will not only be on board the ship - but that he will be taking care of Dimmedale, implying that her problems will persist, maybe even into Europe. To top it all off, the chapter ends with everybody at the gathering staring directly at Hester.


Identification & Explanation of Literary Elements
Simile:
"Little Pearl...seemed to be borne upward like a floating sea-bird on the long heaves and swells of sound"
Explanation
: This quote is a simile because Pearl's excitement and flopping around is being compared to the flopping around of a bird.

Setting(s):
" Soon the head of the procession showed itself, with a slow and stately march, turning a corner, and making its way across the market-place."
Explanation
: This quote tells the reader that the main events of this chaper are occurring in the market-place of the town.

Characterization:
"Even political power--as in the case of Increase Mather--was within the grasp of a successful priest." (Hawthorne, Pg. 213)
Explanation
: This quote is an example of characterization because it gives the reader an idea about the characteristics of the priest.

Conflict(s):
In this chapter, the main conflict is that Hester is consfused as to why Dimmesdale is a whole new person after they made a plan to escape together in the forest. Pearl is also confused and because of that she refuses to love Dimmesdale. "She thought of the dim forest, with its little dell of solitude, and love, and anguish, and the mossy tree-trunk, where, sitting hand-in-hand, they had mingled their sad and passionate talk with the melancholy murmur of the brook. How deeply had they known each other then! And was this the man?"

Albert Pimentel, Juan Narvaez, Maria Hernandez, Sara Radovic, Omar Husni
Level 1
Describe Dimmesdale in this chapter.
Explain how his mannerism is different from previous chapters.
Level 1 Answers
Describe Dimmesdale in this chapter.

Dimmesdale is described to be unsually happy, his health seems to have improved drastically, and Pearl cannot even recognize him. He also seems oddly remote to Hester.

Explain how his mannerism is different from previous chapters.

This is a completely different extreme to the minister from the previous chapters. One might say that he is "liberated" from his sin, but this is not true, the minister feels liberated from the pressure of the society. He seems remote to Hester because he has changed character, he has returned into the Puritan order of things.
Level 2
Illustrate the scene on the Election Day, what significance does this have on the plot?
Compare the people who did not know what the Scarlet Letter meant, from the people who did know. What does this mean?
Level 3
“Mother,” said [Pearl], “was that the same minister that kissed me by the brook?”

“Hold thy peace, dear little Pearl!” whispered [Hester]. “We must not always talk in the market-place of what happens to us in the forest.”


Use the quote to evaluate the lead up to this moment in the book. What does Pearl's dissaproval, or dissasociation of the minister mean?
Level 3
Generalize the situation that Hester is in during this chapter.
Level 2 Answers
Illustrate the scene on the Election Day, what significance does this have on the plot?

We see all the events in the story begin to pile up, coincidentally this occurs during one of the most important days in the Puritan society, where another governor is to be elected. This scene reasserts the power of the Puritan order over the people in it, and it establishes that they are the ultimate power, unfortunately we see that Dimmesdale has once again joined this new order, even if he does not think he has.

Compare the people who did not know what the Scarlet Letter meant, from the people who did know. What does this mean?

The Scarlet A takes on a new power, now that the Puritan order has been properly established with the minister and the new governor. Hester realizes this when she notices she is where she started, at the foot of the scaffold and everyone is staring. Those who are aware of the letter’s meaning stare at her with the reestablished power of shame that the society has regained, while those like the Native Americans, who did not understand, thought she was one of great power. Either way, it made her stand out, and to anyone that saw her, she became a sight to see. This once again establishes a difference between the natural worlds, symbolized by the Natives, as opposed to the Puritan society, how the letter is purely relative.

Level 3 Answer
In general, Hester and all associated, except Pearl, have let this situation fester inside and outside of them, Hester being the prime example of what sin does outside and the minister of what happens inside. They are faced with a choice, they can either escape and fail at holding their own, succumbing to their society, or face their reality at the potential cost of the society itself.

This situation can be thought of as a crossroads, where the main character finds themselves at a crossroads, between giving up, or taking a risk for their own benefit despite it being difficult.
Level 3 Answer
Use the quote to evaluate the lead up to this moment in the book. What does Pearl's dissaproval, or dissasociation of the minister mean?

When the Elelction Day procession begins, Hester is surprised at the fact that Dimmesdale is a whole new person. Dimmesdale is full of energy and seems to be proud of himself. Hester then remembers the moment they had in the woods and is in utter disbelief that the person she sees is truly Dimmesdale.

"She thought of the dim forest, with its little dell of solitude, and love, and anguish, and the mossy tree-trunk, where, sitting hand-in-hand, they had mingled their sad and passionate talk with the melancholy murmur of the brook. How deeply had they known each other then! And was this the man?" When Pearl sees her father's behavior she is also in disbelief and even asks her mother if that is the man who had kissed her. Hester then tells her that they cannot talk about that in public. All in all, Pearl's dissaproval of the minister means that she cannot belief she is facing the same man who kissed her in the woods and promised to leave with them.
The chapter begins with a scene at the town's marketplace.

Hester notices the town fathers that followed their soldier bodyguards. Their calmness and sterness protrudes to Hester. She is disturbed by their pride.

Dimmesdale is following the town fathers and he looks energetic and alive and it bothers Hester because it isn't Dimmesdale's normal behavior and makes him seem distant to her.

Pearl wants to kiss Dimmesdale, as he did her, but is scolded by Hester.
Puritan witch
Puritan gathering
A 17th century boat - likely what Pearl, Dimmesdale, and Hester would flee to Europe on.
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