The Scarlet Letter Discussion Questions

Instructor: Tara Schofield
The Scarlet Letter focuses on four main characters: Hester Prynne, Pearl, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth. These questions review the Scarlet Letter, encouraging group participation and critical thinking skills.

Setting the Scene

  • Where is the story set? How did this impact the events in the story?
  • Who are the main characters? How do they interact and affect each other?
  • What were the beliefs and traditions of the Puritan people that were relevant to Hester Prynne?
  • When Hester's husband doesn't join her, what events transpire? How did her husband being gone add to the problem?
  • What themes are present throughout the story?
  • Why do you think Nathaniel Hawthorne chose to include the long preamble about how the book was formed?

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