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He angrily exclaims that the child's father, the partner in the adulterous act, should also be punished and vows to find the man.He chooses a new name, Roger Chillingworth, to aid him in his plan.Set in Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony during the years 1642 to 1649, the novel tells the story of Hester Prynne who conceives a daughter through an affair and then struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity.
However, as the novel progresses, the letter changes in significance.
The letter on Hester's breast begins to break her down. The letter is a constant reminder of what she has done.
The Scarlet Letter was one of the first mass-produced books in America.
In this painting, The Scarlet Letter by Hugues Merle, Hester Prynne and Pearl are in the foreground and Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth are in the background (painting by Hugues Merle, 1861).
Hester agrees to Chillingworth's terms although she suspects she will regret it.
Following her release from prison, Hester settles in a cottage at the edge of town and earns a meager living with her needlework, which is of extraordinary quality.
In June 1638, in Puritan Boston, Massachusetts, a crowd gathers to witness the punishment of Hester Prynne, a young woman who has given birth to a baby of unknown parentage.
She is required to wear a scarlet "A" on her dress when she is in front of the townspeople to shame her.
He accepts this, stating that he will find out anyway, and forces her to hide that he is her husband.
If she ever reveals him, he warns her, he will destroy the child's father.