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The Scarlet Letter: Novel Summary: Chapters 4-5

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Chapter 4: When Mistress Prynne was returned to the prison, she was in such mental disarray that the jailer, Master Brackett, decided to call in the physician.  Roger Chillingworth, Hester's real husband, introduces himself as the physician for Mistress Prynne and as soon as he enters the room, she goes perfectly still. Mr. Chillingsworth was the same man who she saw when she was on the pillory.  He began to examine the baby and Hester expresses her concern that he will hurt the child as revenge on her.  They talk about their failed marriage, and how there was never love between them, and Roger tells her not to reveal to anyone who he really was.  After giving her a draught to calm her, he asks her who the father of the child was.  Again, as she did when asked by the Reverend, she refuses to give the name of the father.  At her refusal, he tells her that he will find out who the man is and that she not breathe a word of his identity to anyone.
Chapter 5: Hester was released from prison and free to go wherever she wished.  Instead of fleeing the town she moved to a little cottage outside of it, and supported herself with her needlework.  She sewed for many different people of the town but kept herself in plain clothing, save the letter upon her bosom.  She took all of the passion of her life and used it to ply her needle.  Much of her work she donated to the poor as penance for her guilt.  Although they all coveted her services, she was still an outcast looked upon with malice and her sin burned deep in her soul. 




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