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The Scarlet Letter: Novel Summary: Chapters 14-15

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Chapters 14-15

Chapter 14: Hester instructed Pearl to go run and play and she went to a pool and saw herself there.  Hester accosted Mr. Chillingworth and he began telling her of all the good things the people in the town had said about her.  The leaders in the town at the last council meeting had even thought about admitting Hester to take the letter off her bosom.  Hester told him that if the Lord meant her to take it off her chest that it would have fallen off long ago.  While they began talking, Hester took a good look at him.  In the past seven years he had aged well, but there was a strikingly different look about him.  He wore a guarded look of an eager angry man who was out for revenge. They began talking about the minister and Mr. Chillingworth reveals that had it not been for his care, the minister would have died long ago.  Hester asks if he has not had enough revenge since he was able to torture the minister every day by burying into his heart.  He answers no, that it will never be enough.  Hester tells him that she plans on revealing his secret to the minister and he tells her that neither of them are sinful and evil, they just must lead the lives that they were given because of her sin.  They say farewell, and Hester leaves him to gathering herbs.
Chapter 15: Hester watches him for a while from a distance disgusted at the evil she sees in him.  She turns to find little Pearl who was playing with all the different things in nature.  When Pearl goes back to her mother, Hester sees that the child has made a letter A out of seaweed and placed it on her chest.  Hester asks the child if she knows what the letter her mother wears means.  Pearl answers that it is the same reason the minister keeps his hand over his chest.  That is all she knows however, and she asks earnestly why she wears the scarlet letter, and why the minister places his hand over his heart.  Ever since she was little, Pearl had a certain fascination with the letter that tortured her mother even more.  Hester decided it was better to not unburden her sin upon her child and told her daughter that it meant nothing.  After that day however, Pearl would ask her mother two or three times a day what the scarlet letter meant. 




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