Analyze Hester’s decision to stay in Boston.
Analyze how Hawthorne develops the theme of isolation in Chapter 5.
Book: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne — Chapter 5: Hester at Her Needle
The words remote, alone, and lonesome are used in the first paragraph of p. 20 to
question why the society is punishing Hester so severely.
stress that Hester has chosen to remain rather than to flee.
emphasize that Hester’s home is physically separate from the rest of the town’s inhabitants.
imply that the town magistrates have taken Pearl and left Hester to suffer her punishment alone.
Which statement best characterizes Hester’s relationship to the townspeople?
Despite their strict penal code, the townspeople begin to show compassion and forgiveness to Hester.
Despite appreciation for her needlework, the townspeople continue to isolate and shame Hester.
As she develops the ability to sense their sins, the townspeople begin to isolate and ignore Hester.
As she dabbles in witchcraft and black magic, the townspeople begin to fear Hester and her scarlet letter.
What do we learn about Hester from her decision to stay in Boston despite being free to leave? Use evidence from throughout the chapter to support your answer.
Hawthorne develops the theme of isolation in this chapter. Thus far in the novel, we have seen Hester isolate herself and have seen the townspeople isolate her. Why? In what ways are their motivations similar and different? Explain using evidence from the text.