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Scarlet Letter, The - Study Guide

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Click here for a sample section of The Scarlet Letter Study Guide!       Check out the E-Guide version, available immediately!      Get the book The Scarlet Letter HERE

Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction, #20 on The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time, #16 on The 100 Best Novels Written in English

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic American novel masterfully explores not only the historical and moral roots of America, but the terrible results of one sinful act upon all those involved. Hawthorne mixes Puritanism with the birth of Romanticism as he examines sin, guilt, vengeance, and redemption.

Hester Prynne has traveled alone to America to prepare a home for herself and her husband. In her husband's long absence Hester commits adultery and gives birth to a child. In accordance with the town's strict moral law, Hester is punished, (though leniently for this time period). She is sentenced to stand for several hours on the town's scaffold exposed to public shame and to wear a scarlet "A" for the rest of her life.

Hester's partner in sin, a prominent member of the community, remains silent about his own guilt, and Hester refuses to reveal his identity. Meanwhile, Hester's long-absent husband, Roger Chillingworth, returns on the very day Hester must endure her public humiliation. He decides to remain silent concerning his own identity but determines to seek revenge on Hester's lover.

Through Nathaniel Hawthorne’s timeless tale of sin, guilt, vengeance, and redemption, students will learn:

Background Information: Do some research to learn more about the early history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Romanticism, and Transcendentalism.

Author Biography

Vocabulary words used throughout the novel, utilizing a variety of activities to stimulate retention and growth.

Literary Techniques: Grammar and parts of speech, root words, foreshadowing, imagery, synonym, personification, compare & contrast, in context.

Moral Lessons and Character Values: Keeping secrets, lying, shame, penance, and martyrdom, judging others, correction and pride, vengeance, confession, subjective morality, reconciliation with God.

Activities and Writing Assignments: Pre-reading analysis papers on civil government, biblical view of sin, biblical response to people. Brook Farm research. Point-of-view summary essay. Puritanism research paper. Analyze patterns in novel.

Suggestions for Further Reading:  We include an in-depth reading list of more books by the same author(s) and other books that tie in with, or are similar to, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

All of the unit lessons are written from a Christian perspective!

Features and Benefits of the study guide

 Printed Workbook Format

  • Large 8.5x11 format is convenient to read and easy on the eyes
  • Every question has plenty of whitespace for student’s answers
  • Encourages neat and clean handwriting practice
  • Easily transports without the need for a laptop or other expensive equipment
  • Provides a permanent record of the student’s work
  • Convenient, removable answer key included for the teacher!

 CD Format

  • Provides the study guide in universally compatible PDF format (works on Mac AND Windows)
  • No costly software purchases necessary
  • Our Interactive Study Guide should be opened with the FREE Adobe Reader program. With the interactive feature, students have the capability of entering their answers directly on the computer and saving their work in progress.
    Note: Mobile Devices/Tablets may require alternative app that supports and saves fillable form fields.
  • Or choose to conveniently print what you need, when you need it:
    • Print the whole guide at once
    • Print single lessons or pages as the student completes them
    • Print multiple copies of the entire guide for classroom sets
  • Easy to use with multiple students
  • Complete separate answer key file included for the teacher!
Recommended Grade Level:
9-12
Setting:
Massachusetts, USA, 1640s
Genre:
American Literature, Historical Literature
Workbook ISBN:
978-1-58609-381-5
CD ISBN:
978-1-58609-604-5
Study Guide Author:
Michael S. Gilleland
For the Book By:
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Study Guide Page Count:
53 pages