The Scarlet Letter - Chapters 1-18

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The Scarlet Letter - Chapters 1-18 - Quiz

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Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    What gesture does Reverend Dimmesdale make throughout the book?

    • A.

      Rubs his eyes

    • B.

      Pulls at his beard

    • C.

      Raises his head to the sky

    • D.

      Puts his hand on his chest

    Correct Answer
    D. Puts his hand on his chest
    Explanation
    Throughout the book, Reverend Dimmesdale consistently puts his hand on his chest. This gesture symbolizes his guilt and inner turmoil over his hidden sin of adultery with Hester Prynne. It serves as a physical manifestation of his emotional and spiritual anguish, as he carries the weight of his secret sin and struggles with the hypocrisy of his public persona as a respected minister. This gesture also becomes a prominent symbol in the novel, representing the conflict between private guilt and public reputation.

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  • 2. 

    How does Hester earn a living?

    • A.

      Cooking for people

    • B.

      Through her needlework

    • C.

      As a maid

    • D.

      Farming the governor's fields

    Correct Answer
    B. Through her needlework
    Explanation
    Hester earns a living through her needlework. This means that she makes money by sewing or doing embroidery work. This could involve making clothes, accessories, or other fabric-based items for people. Needlework was a common skill for women during this time period, and it provided a way for them to contribute to their household income. Hester's ability to sew and create with a needle allows her to support herself financially.

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  • 3. 

    What is the first thing that Pearl sees as a baby?

    • A.

      The 'A' on Hester's chest

    • B.

      The sun

    • C.

      The town beedle

    • D.

      The scaffold

    Correct Answer
    A. The 'A' on Hester's chest
    Explanation
    As a baby, Pearl sees the 'A' on Hester's chest. This is significant because the 'A' represents the scarlet letter that Hester is forced to wear as a symbol of her adultery. The fact that Pearl's first sight is the symbol of her mother's sin suggests that she will be deeply impacted by Hester's actions and the consequences of her affair. It also foreshadows Pearl's role as a constant reminder of Hester's sin throughout the novel.

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  • 4. 

    When John Wilson asks Pearl who who maker is, the girl reponds:

    • A.

      God is her maker

    • B.

      She is the result of sin

    • C.

      She was plucked off the rosebush

    • D.

      Indians gave her to Hester

    Correct Answer
    C. She was plucked off the rosebush
  • 5. 

    Mistress Hibbins, the sister of Governor Bellingham, is allegedly a:

    • A.

      Seamstress

    • B.

      Adulterer

    • C.

      Heterdox religionist

    • D.

      Witch

    Correct Answer
    D. Witch
    Explanation
    Mistress Hibbins being referred to as a "witch" suggests that she is believed to possess supernatural powers and practices witchcraft. This label implies that she is involved in activities that are considered to be against societal norms and may have connections with dark forces. The term "witch" is often associated with women who are believed to have made a pact with the devil and engage in harmful or malevolent practices. Therefore, Mistress Hibbins is likely seen as a character involved in occult activities and is associated with witchcraft.

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  • 6. 

    Who is the leech?

    • A.

      Hester

    • B.

      Dimmesdale

    • C.

      Winthrop

    • D.

      Chillingworth

    Correct Answer
    D. Chillingworth
    Explanation
    Chillingworth is the leech because he is depicted as a parasitic character who feeds off the suffering and guilt of others. Throughout the novel, Chillingworth is relentless in his pursuit of revenge against Dimmesdale, using his knowledge of Dimmesdale's secret sin to torment him mentally and emotionally. Chillingworth's actions and motivations align with the characteristics of a leech, as he attaches himself to Dimmesdale and drains him of his vitality and happiness.

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  • 7. 

    Which of the following is a method Dimmesdale uses to punish himself for his sins?

    • A.

      Fasting

    • B.

      Scourging or whipping

    • C.

      Vigils

    • D.

      All of the above

    Correct Answer
    D. All of the above
    Explanation
    Dimmesdale uses all of the above methods to punish himself for his sins. Fasting is a form of self-denial and self-discipline, where he deprives himself of food as a way to atone for his guilt. Scourging or whipping is a physical act of self-flagellation, where he inflicts pain on himself to symbolize his remorse. Vigils refer to the long periods of wakefulness and prayer that Dimmesdale undertakes, depriving himself of sleep and rest as a form of penance. By engaging in all of these practices, Dimmesdale seeks to punish himself and find redemption for his sins.

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  • 8. 

    What physical deformity did Hester's husband have?

    • A.

      He had club feet

    • B.

      He had an extra finger on one hand

    • C.

      One shoulder was lower than the other

    • D.

      He had webbed feet

    Correct Answer
    C. One shoulder was lower than the other
    Explanation
    The correct answer is that Hester's husband had one shoulder lower than the other. This suggests that he had a physical deformity known as scoliosis, which is a condition where the spine curves sideways. This condition can cause one shoulder to be lower than the other, resulting in an uneven appearance.

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  • 9. 

    What does Hester's scarlet letter look like?

    • A.

      Plain and simple, in true Puritan fashion

    • B.

      Small and gray

    • C.

      Elaborate in design and stitched with gold thread

    • D.

      Green and natural

    Correct Answer
    C. Elaborate in design and stitched with gold thread
    Explanation
    Hester's scarlet letter is described as elaborate in design and stitched with gold thread. This suggests that the letter is not just a simple symbol of her sin, but rather a detailed and ornate representation. The use of gold thread also adds a touch of luxury and richness to the letter, contrasting with the Puritan ideals of simplicity and plainness. This description highlights the significance and impact of the scarlet letter on Hester's life and the society she lives in.

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  • 10. 

    For whom does Hester make a pair of gloves?

    • A.

      Governor Bellingham

    • B.

      Governor Winthrop

    • C.

      Both A and B

    • D.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    A. Governor Bellingham
    Explanation
    Hester makes a pair of gloves for Governor Bellingham.

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  • 11. 

    The fact that, even though the scarlet letter was meant to be a symbol of scorn, it became a symbol of honor, is an example of __________ irony in the novel.

    • A.

      Dramatic Irony

    • B.

      Verbal Irony

    • C.

      Situational Irony

    • D.

      None of the Above

    Correct Answer
    C. Situational Irony
    Explanation
    The fact that the scarlet letter, which was intended to bring shame and scorn upon its wearer, ended up becoming a symbol of honor is an example of situational irony. Situational irony occurs when there is a contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually happens. In this case, the scarlet letter was meant to be a punishment, but it ended up being seen as a mark of strength and resilience, turning the intended meaning of the symbol on its head.

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  • 12. 

    At the end of their meeting in the woods, Hester and Dimmesdale decide to:

    • A.

      Tell the town of their relationship

    • B.

      Take a boat to Europe with Pearl

    • C.

      Confront Chillingworth and tell him he is the worst sinner of all

    • D.

      Run away to the woods to live with the Indians

    Correct Answer
    B. Take a boat to Europe with Pearl
    Explanation
    Hester and Dimmesdale decide to take a boat to Europe with Pearl. This decision suggests that they are choosing to leave their current lives behind and start anew in a different country. By going to Europe, they are seeking a fresh start and a chance to escape the judgment and scrutiny of their town. Taking Pearl with them shows their commitment to being a family and raising her away from the harsh environment they have faced in their community.

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  • 13. 

    In the woods, Hester:

    • A.

      Takes off her 'A' but eventually returns it

    • B.

      Jumps in the brook with Pearl

    • C.

      Joins Mistress Hibbins in some witchcraft

    • D.

      Destroys her 'A'

    Correct Answer
    A. Takes off her 'A' but eventually returns it
    Explanation
    Hester takes off her 'A' but eventually returns it. This suggests that Hester momentarily attempts to escape the stigma and judgment associated with the scarlet letter 'A' that she is forced to wear as a symbol of her adultery. However, she ultimately realizes that she cannot fully escape her past and the consequences of her actions, so she returns the letter and accepts her fate. This action demonstrates Hester's growth and acceptance of her identity, as well as her willingness to face the consequences of her choices.

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  • 14. 

    What regret does Hester reveal when she says, "... You cause him to die daily a living death; and still he knows you not"?

    • A.

      That she had an affair with Dimmesdale

    • B.

      That she married Chillingworth

    • C.

      That she had Pearl out of wedlock

    • D.

      That she kept Chillingworth's identity from Dimmesdale

    Correct Answer
    D. That she kept Chillingworth's identity from Dimmesdale
    Explanation
    Hester's regret, as revealed in the given statement, is that she kept Chillingworth's identity from Dimmesdale. This implies that Hester feels guilty for not disclosing the true identity of her husband, which has caused Dimmesdale to suffer in silence. Hester believes that by hiding this secret, she has condemned Dimmesdale to a continuous state of torment and emotional anguish, leading to a "living death."

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  • 15. 

    What parallel does Pearl draw between her mother and Dimmesdale?

    • A.

      That they are both sad and alone

    • B.

      That Hester's 'A' comes from the same place as Dimmesdale's hand over his heart

    • C.

      That Chillingworth is obsessed with both of them

    • D.

      That religion plays such a big part in both of their lives

    Correct Answer
    B. That Hester's 'A' comes from the same place as Dimmesdale's hand over his heart
    Explanation
    Pearl draws a parallel between her mother, Hester, and Dimmesdale by pointing out that Hester's scarlet letter 'A' and Dimmesdale's hand over his heart both come from the same place. This suggests that they both share a secret sin and guilt, which is symbolized by their physical gestures. The connection between their actions implies that they are both hiding something and experiencing similar emotional turmoil. This parallel highlights the deep connection and shared suffering between Hester and Dimmesdale.

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  • 16. 

    What literary device is the following: "... poor little Pearl was a demon offspring..."

    • A.

      Assonance

    • B.

      Metaphor

    • C.

      Allusion

    • D.

      Simile

    Correct Answer
    B. Metaphor
    Explanation
    The given sentence uses the phrase "demon offspring" to describe Pearl, implying that she is mischievous or troublesome. This comparison between Pearl and a demon is a metaphor, as it equates the two without using "like" or "as".

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  • 17. 

    "Your clutch is on his life, and you cause him to die daily a living death, and still he knows you not." The phrase "living death" is an example of which device:

    • A.

      Alliteration

    • B.

      Allusion

    • C.

      Oxymoron

    • D.

      Verbal irony

    Correct Answer
    C. Oxymoron
    Explanation
    The phrase "living death" is an example of an oxymoron. An oxymoron is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms to create a new meaning. In this case, "living" and "death" are opposites, but they are used together to emphasize the extreme suffering or misery that the person is experiencing. The phrase suggests that the person's life is so unbearable that it feels like they are already dead.

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  • 18. 

    What literary device is the following: "The door of the jail being flung open from within there appeared, in the first place, like a black shadow emerging into sunshine, the grim and gristly presence of the town-beadle, with a sword by his side, and his staff of office in his hand."

    • A.

      Simile

    • B.

      Allusion

    • C.

      Anthropomorphism

    • D.

      Paradox

    Correct Answer
    A. Simile
    Explanation
    The correct answer is simile. This is because the sentence compares the appearance of the town-beadle to a black shadow emerging into sunshine. The word "like" indicates the comparison, which is a characteristic of a simile.

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  • 19. 

    What literary device is the following: "Had there been a Papist among the crowd of Puritans, he might have seen in this beautiful woman, so picturesque in her attire and mien, and with the infant at her bosom, an object to remind him of the image of Divine Maternity, which so many illustrious painters have vied with one another to represent; something which should remind him, indeed, but only by contrast, of that sacred image of sinless motherhood, whose infant was to redeem the world."

    • A.

      Simile

    • B.

      Allusion

    • C.

      Oxymoron

    • D.

      Dramatic irony

    Correct Answer
    B. Allusion
    Explanation
    The passage makes a reference to the "image of Divine Maternity" and "sacred image of sinless motherhood," which are both allusions. An allusion is a literary device that refers to a person, place, event, or another work of literature. In this case, the allusion is made to religious and artistic depictions of the Virgin Mary and the concept of sinless motherhood. The passage contrasts the woman in the crowd with the idealized image of the Virgin Mary, highlighting the woman's sinful nature in comparison.

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  • 20. 

    "All these giant trees and boulders of granite seemed intent on making a mystery of the course of this small brook; fearing, perhaps, that, with its never-ceasing loquacity, it should whisper tales out of the heart of the heart of the old forest whence it flowed, or mirror its revelations on the smooth surface of the pool."This is an example of:

    • A.

      Onomatopoeia

    • B.

      Hyperbole

    • C.

      Personification

    • D.

      Understatement

    Correct Answer
    C. Personification
    Explanation
    The given passage personifies the giant trees and boulders of granite by suggesting that they have intentions and fears. The author describes how these natural elements seem to be purposely creating a sense of mystery around the small brook. This attribution of human qualities to the inanimate objects is an example of personification.

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