This study guide is designed to help students comprehend and analyze the novel by the same name. It is divided into three parts: basic comprehension questions, discussion questions that invlove more critical thinking, and extended activities and research suggestions. The answers for the questions are included.
This novel is a classic example of American Romanticism in its depiction of Puritanism in the 1640s. When a surveyor loses his job at the customs house, he decides to write a fictional account of an old manuscript he discovered in the attic: a manuscript mysteriously wrapped in a piece of cloth with a red A attached. The story within the story begins as the source of the letter is revealed. It is worn by a beautiful young woman being led from prison, carrying an infant. The illegitimate child is the result of an adulterous affair, and the Puritanical community is bent on discovering her lover’s identity. Offering no excuses, the reader soon learns that the affair occurred after the young woman assumed that her older husband who was to follow her to the States supposedly died at sea. An elderly onlooker turns out to be her long-lost husband, now practicing medicine in the community and bent on revenge.
Still hiding the identity of her lover, the woman and child are shunned by the community and are forced to make ends meet on the edge of the village. Helped by a young minister with a mysterious psychological ailment, she slowly softens the heart of the community by her humility and charitable ways. As the minister’s health fails, the doctor – her husband – moves in to care for the man, partly because he suspects a connection to his wife. The woman and her lover conspire to flee the community and sail back to England, but when they think that the husband has discovered their plan, the lover confesses – right after giving his most stirring sermon. Unable to bear the shame, he dies instantly, robbing the husband of his revenge.
The novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne is sold separately. The study guide and the novel are appropriate for a credited course in American or World Literature.
The CD contains PDF files that can be opened by an Adobe Acrobat reader and can be used with both PCs and Macs. However, as with any CD format, once the seal has been broken and the product opened, it CANNOT BE RETURNED.
The Scarlet Letter Progeny Study Guide - CD-ROM (PDF Version)
Publisher: Progeny Press
Format: Multimedia CD-ROM
Author: Irene Lape, Michael Gilleland
Age: 14, 15, 16, 17, 18
Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12
Topic: Literature, Reading, Reading Comprehension, Study Guides