The Scarlet Letter is a classic novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne which tells the story of Hester Prynne, a woman who is publicly shamed by her Puritan community for committing adultery. In Chapter 2, Hester is released from jail and the events that follow her release play an important role in the novel. This article will explore what these events are and how they shape the story.
Hester’s Release From Jail
Hester Prynne is released from jail in Chapter 2 of The Scarlet Letter. She is forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her chest to symbolize the shame she has brought upon her Puritan community. She is also forced to stand in the town square for three hours so that the townspeople can witness her punishment. Hester is then taken away from the town square and is free to go wherever she pleases.
Events Following Hester’s Release
- Hester returns to her home in the town of Boston and discovers that her husband, Roger Chillingworth, has arrived in town and is living in a nearby cottage.
- Hester is visited by Governor Bellingham and his councilors who question her about the identity of her lover.
- Hester is visited by Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale who expresses sympathy for her plight and tells her that he will try to help her in any way he can.
- Hester meets with her old friend Mistress Hibbins who tells her that she should look to the forest for solace.
- Hester is approached by a group of women who tell her that she must wear the scarlet letter for the rest of her life.
- Hester meets with a group of men who tell her that she must accept her punishment and repent for her sins.
- Hester is visited by her husband, Roger Chillingworth, who tells her that he will help her in any way he can.
- Hester is visited by Reverend Dimmesdale who tells her that he is sorry for her plight and that he will do whatever he can to help her.
- Hester is visited by a group of Native Americans who tell her that she should not be ashamed of her actions and that she should accept her punishment and move on with her life.
The events that occur after Hester’s release from jail in Chapter 2 of The Scarlet Letter play an important role in the story.