Brief and Arrangement of the Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter is a historical fiction book that is structured as a chapter book. The book is a total of 24 chapters. The chapters are organized in chronological order that follow the story of the book. The beginning of the book introduces us to Hester Prynne a young woman has committed adultery and is being publicly shamed for it. She is also fitted with a bright scarlet letter A on her chest. Hester soon encounters her estranged husband: who has changed his name to roger Chillingworth visits her in prison. Hester eventually is released from prison and starts to sew. Hester has a talent for sewing and is soon sews clothes for the people of the town, but she is excluded from sewing for weddings. Hester has a child named Pearl and she can be described as her curse and her blessing. Hester is afraid of the governor was going take her child, so she begged him along with the help of Arthur Dimmesdale. Roger Chillingworth was regarded as the town doctor and is soon tasked with treating the minister Arthur Dimmesdale. Chillingworth senses that Dimmesdale is hiding something, so he soon questions him to gain a better understanding of his condition. Chillingworth soon discovers something about the governor and his suspicions grow. Chillingworth finally discovers the truth and becomes vengeful toward the minister and has become a changed man seeking revenge. Hester reveals Chillingworths identity to Arthur and expresses that he wont expose them. They soon plan a trip where they would take a boat to Europe and get away from everyone. Chillingworth discovers this plan and tries to join them on their trip so he can seek his revenge. Dimmesdale has prepared his final sermon before his departure and it is the best sermon he has ever given, and the crowd acknowledges this. After, he completes his sermon he brings Hester and Peral to the scaffold and reveal to everyone the red A on his chest signifying that he too has sinned. Arthur eventually and the Scarlet Letter becomes a legend throughout the village. Hester soon returns to the village still wearing the letter, but it has since lost its significance and doesnt bring any extra attention toward her anymore.

Rhetorical Analysis

The author uses exigence in this story when describing the governor trying to take Peral away from Hester. This shows urgency by describing how important this situation is and the severity of it. Hester begs and pleads with the governor to let her keep her kid. The audience of this book is teenagers in high school between the age of 15-18. The book gives the audience an insight into society during this time period and how society treated women who committed adultery. The book is also a good literature piece to be used by students to study rhetoric. The logos displayed in this book is defined by the time in history. During this point in Americas history there was no separation between church and state, so sin was punishable by prison time. The town was structured to hold people of god into a higher level so when Hester was punished for adultery it wasnt uncommon for her to be sentenced to prison. It was also normal to shun Hester because of the Scarlet Letter because society was largely influenced by the church. Pathos is represented in the book when Hester fights to keep her child. This shows pathos by displaying her love and affection for her daughter, and her unwillingness to lose her. This passion helped her keep her convinced the governor to let her keep her child. Ethos is displayed in the book when Chillingworth tries to establish himself as a doctor. He soon gains credibility throughout the town and starts treating a minister. Dimmesdale was also a minister so when he gave advice or spoke to someone they believed in everything he said. The style of this spoke is of old English language and historical reference. The book has a serious and an insightful tone when detailing Hesters story. The author uses a unique style of language to tell the story and uses this tone to help deliver it. The books delivery is an old styled appearance that is simple and to the point. The front cover shows Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth and the back has text from the first chapter. The book also describes the appearance of the scarlet letter by giving the reader a description and a picture to see what it looks like.

Use of Outside Sources

The author doesnt refer to outside sources a lot during in this book. The author gathered information about the time period and used the help of historians. The author details a story of a man finding a manuscript about Hesters story, so this can be used as an outside source. The outside sources the author uses are authoritative by giving him insight and a mental picture of this time period. The author also notes of the story of the narrator in the book.

Personal Response

I personally believe the book is interesting and I find it informative regarding society during this time period. The book gives you an insight to how America was before there was a separation of church and state in government and society. I recommend this book to literature classes for its use of rhetoric and having to use critical thinking to truly understand the nature of the story. I believe that there are parallels that can be drawn between the book and society today and in some how some are treated as if they wear a scarlet letter. I personally liked the book and the story of Hester Prynne.

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Brief and Arrangement of The Scarlet Letter. (2019, May 13). Retrieved March 2, 2024 , from

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