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The Scarlet Letter Journal Entries

The Scarlet Letter

Journal # 1 DUE WED. Jan. 15, 2014

Readings:

The Marketplace, The Recognition, The Interview

Journal Notes [see end of document for format criteria]:

  1. Select distinguishing characteristics and remarks for Hester Prynne, Rev. Dimmesdale and the stranger/physician. You may wish to use character diagrams to organize your ideas.
  2. Track how the crowd treats Hester/her punishment
  3. Note Hawthorne’s references to Puritan living and how they indicate bias towards their actions and beliefs.
  4. Vocabulary (The class will collaborate to create a weekly list of 10 words.)/ Questions

Journal Entry [see end of document for format criteria]:

Discuss the contrasts in settings (market place vs. prison) and how they affect character, plot development or theme through the first three chapters.

The Scarlet Letter

Journal # 2

Readings :

Hester at her Needle, Pearl

Journal Notes:

  1. Note suggestions that the public has not relented in their treatment of Hester.
  2. Note suggestions that Hester has not relented in punishing herself.
  3. Suggest parallels between Pearl’s temperament/appearance and her origin.
  4. Vocabulary

Journal Entries:

  1. Consider how/why Pearl’s name is an appropriate one for Hawthorne to give to Hester’s child.

OR

  1. Critics have called Pearl, “half-child, half-literary symbol.” How does Chapter VI serve to start this argument?
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The Scarlet Letter

Journal # 3

Readings :

The Governor’s Hall, The Elf-Child and the Minister

Journal Notes:

  1. Note how Hawthorne has “romanticized” the Governor’s Hall (what seems out of the ordinary, given your knowledge of Puritan “tastes”?)
  2. Establish links between Chapter 8 and Chapter 1.
  3. Elf-Child? Offer suggestions why/how Pearl fits this moniker.
  4. Vocabulary

Journal Entries:

  1. How has Hester’s TONE towards Dimmesdale changed from her first conversation with him in the marketplace to this most recent one in Chapter 8 ?

OR

  1. How is Dimmesdale able to convince the Magistrates that Hester is a fit mother? How is this evidence corroborated, in a way, by Hester’s encounter with Mistress Hibbins?

The Scarlet Letter

Journal # 4

Readings :

The Leech, The Leech and His Patient, The Interior of a Heart

Half-way Test is Coming!!!!!

Chapter 9 "The Leech"

Notice "leech" is an old term for a physician, since a doctor would sometimes "bleed" a patient to let out blood and restore balance

to the body fluids, which was believed to cure illness. How does Hawthorne imply Chillingworth fulfills MULTIPLE definitions of

this term?

Chapter 10 "The Leech and His Patient"

Chapter 11 "The Interior of a Heart"

Keep a reader's journal to record questions as you read this weekend. Because there will be a test this coming week, I will not collect these entries, but you may use all entries completed thus far to aid you while you take the test.

1. As you read, explore Dimmesdale's character. Consider the irony that develops between his inner conflict and his congregation's perception of him.

2. As you read, explore Chillingworth's character. What effect does his twisted pursuit of Dimmesdale's confession have on Chillingworth himself?

3. Focus on the battle between good and evil. Is one character purely good and the other purely evil? Note Hawthorne's tone (diction + imagery + details + language + syntax = tone) as he describes Dimmesdale's, as he describes Chillingworth's, and as he describes the interaction between the two.


 

The Scarlet Letter

Journal # 5

Readings :

The Minister’s Vigil, Another View of Hester, Hester and the Physician, Hester and Pearl

Journal Notes:

  1. Track how Pearl continues to operate on two different levels (child and literary symbol).
  2. Consider permutations of/ possibilities for the symbolic value of the letter “A.”
  3. Note the shift in the balance of power between Chillingworth and Hester.
  4. Is Hester starting to be true to her own feelings? Record evidence yes/no.
  5. Vocabulary

Journal Entries:

  1. Discuss Crucifixion parallels in The Minister’s Vigil. (Hint: I would pick up a New Testament here if I were researching this topic: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.)

OR

  1. In Another View of Hester, we notice her transition from adulteress (sinner) to free thinker (heretic); which Hester do you suppose is more repulsive to the Puritan community? How does Hawthorne address this transition symbolically?

The Scarlet Letter

Journal # 6

Reading

A Forest Walk, The Pastor and His Parishioner

Journal Notes

  1. Where do we see connections to Longfellow’s Forest Primeval in Ch. 16?
  2. What about the forest as a battleground for the forces of good and evil? (Or light and darkness?)
  3. Highlight Rhetorical devices in Hester’s speech to Dimmesdale (pp. 152-54)
  4. Vocabulary (you will have a quiz at the end of Ch 24.)

Journal Entries

  1. In Chapter 17, how, and why, have “the Pastor” and the “parishioner” switched roles?

OR

  1. Take another look at Hester’s advice to Dimmesdale on pages 152-54: what about this speech is profoundly “American”?

The Scarlet Letter

Journal # 7

Readings:

A Flood of Sunshine, The Child at the Brook-Side, The Minister in A Maze

Journal Notes

  1. Identify possible symbolic elements in these three chapters.
  2. Imagine you are directing Chapter 19 as if it were on the stage…where/how would you position your actors? (This could be done in a diagram/series of diagrams…)
  3. Ruminate on reasons why Hawthorne titles Chapter 20 The Minister in A Maze…
  4. Vocabulary (you will have a quiz at the end of Ch 24.)

Journal Entries

  1. Why does Hawthorne choose to follow The Pastor and the Parishioner with A Flood of Sunshine?

OR

  1. Why/ how are Hester and Dimmesdale “like ghosts”? (You may need to reach back into Chapter 16 for this one…!)

OR

  1. Explore possibilities for pairing Chapters 19 & 20…

Journal Notes and Entries: Stitching Your A’s…

  1. Your job here is to convince me that you have read & interacted with Hawthorne’s text: we will boldly go where Cliff, Spark, Pink Monkey, Barron, et al., dare not tread.
  1. Your journals will be collected before the end of class the day the last chapter is due. I may allow you to use your journals for the Socratic Circle, so record any questions you have during your readings. DO NOT just stop with the assigned questions.
    1. Journals submitted after the class (but prior to 3:05) will automatically receive a 10 point reduction
  1. NO Journals will be accepted after the due date unless an absence is AE.
  1. Each submission involves notes and entries. I will randomly check one of the entries for completion and evaluate the other for content and substance.
  1. Journals increase in value as we move through the text:

Submission # 1 = 15 points (completion)/30 points (evaluation)

Submission # 2 = 20 points (completion)/40 points (evaluation)

Submission # 3 = 25 points (completion)/50 points (evaluation)

  1. Regarding Journal Notes, I am looking for direct textual references NOT paraphrase:

Ex. (Reading 1: Notes 1) è Dimmesdale was “a person of very striking aspect, with a white, lofty, and impending brow….” (19)

Students wishing to earn full credit will then interact with the text:

Ex. Dimmesdale was “a person of very striking aspect, with a white, lofty, and impending brow….” (19) è characteristics which suggest D. is a figure of very high stature in the town/superiority/possibly even angelic or godly

  1. Regarding Vocabulary, I am not simply looking for words you don’t know. As a class, we will strive to be prudent—to select the words that seem to show up again and again, or seem most integral to meaning—We will not waste our time/ink/paper/ effort recording every word which seems unfamiliar!
  1. Regarding Journal Entries, I am looking for fully developed, textually supported, thoughtfully written responses. These are ideally composed over time and outside of class: as such, they should be insightful.
  2. I am not requiring your Journals to be typed; however I have neither the time nor the inclination to struggle with hieroglyphics. If I cannot read it easily, I am not going to read it at all.

Thank you, Ms. Thompson, for sharing your journal entry assignment.

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Field Local Schools | 2900 Door #5, State Route 43 | Mogadore, OH 44260 | Phone: 330.673.2659 | Fax: 330.673.0270
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