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What two contrasting reasons did the church members put forth that would ensure Hester’s losing custody of Pearl?


The church members want Hester to lose custody of Pearl and put forth two contrasting reasons to support their beliefs. One is that Pearl is considered by some to be a demon child, and “a Christian interest in the mother’s soul required them to remove such a stumbling block from her path” (51). However, they also suggest another reason that if the child really is able to grow morally and religiously, then she should be under the care of better parents than Hester, under whose guardianship she can’t mature to the utmost. These reasons contrast each other completely. In one they are protecting Hester’s interests, and in the other, they are protecting Pearl’s.


More Questions

1. What two contrasting reasons did the church members put forth that would ensure Hester’s losing custody of Pearl?
2. Hawthorne says that the suit of armor hanging in Governor Bellingham’s hall was not meant “for mere idle show.” What does he mean by that?
3. When Governor Bellingham demands to know what Hester can teach Pearl concerning the “truths of heaven and earth,” what does Hester reply?
4. Hester is startled at the change in Chillingworth’s appearance since she last saw him. How has he changed?