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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?


When Hawthorne says that the suit of armor hanging in Governor Bellingham’s hall is not meant “for mere idle show,” he means that the suit was put to use when Governor Bellingham wore it as a soldier. He asserts that the suit of armor had “glittered, moreover, at the head of a regiment in the Pequod war” (56). The suit was thus more than an ornament in Governor Bellingham’s hall. It serves as a personal symbol of triumph for Governor Bellingham and surely serves an emotional purpose for him.


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?