The Scarlet Letter Chapters 7-9 Summary

     One day, Hester visits Governor Bellingham's mansion so that she can handle him a pair of gloves which she has fringed and embroidered to his order, but that is not the only reason of her visit- she has heard that officials are planning to take Pearl away from her, as they believe that the girl is of demon origin. For this occasion, Hester has dressed Pearl in vivid colors, drawing everyone's attention and making them murmur about another scarlet letter, alluding to little Pear next to Hester.

     Once they arrive to Governor's home, Pearl becomes fascinated with the exterior of the house, with shiny and bright façade, launching her into special restless mood that is hard for her mother to control. The mansion is sumptuous, built according to English standards, with the interior abundant of tasteful décor. Governor Bellingham is not there to welcome them immediately, so Pearl has enough time to explore the hall, ignoring Hester's warnings to be obedient.

     In the following chapter, Governor Bellingham enters the hall along with John Wilson, the old clergyman, the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth. This escort holds Hester's destiny in their hands, therefore, it is not accidental that both Hester and Pearl suddenly become quiet. Governor is disgusted with the sight of Pearl's bright clothes, asking her whether she is a Christian child. He remarks that this could be expected from the woman with the scarlet letter and adds they should discuss Hester's custody over Pearl. Right from the beginning it is obvious that their goal is to make Hester unsuitable for raising the child, so they can take it away from her, with the reference to Pearl's faulty upbringing. Hester insists that she has learnt a lesson from her mistake, claiming that she can pass it on to her child. Governor dryly replies that it is up to them to decide while the clergyman summons little Pearl to ask her about her creator in order to test her knowledge. Pearl knows very well what is the correct answer to this question, however, she chooses to make up the most shocking possible answer by saying that she was not created, but plucked by her mother off the bush of wild roses that grew by the prison-door. The answer is shocking for the officials, who find it unacceptable for a three-year-old not to know who created it. They agree, without a word, that the child should be taken away from her mother, but Hester relies on the young clergyman, Mr. Dimmesdale, to help her keep her daughter. He tries to persuade the officials to change their minds by claiming that the child is both a blessing and a retribution that will remind Hester of her sin each day, to the rest of her life. After concluding that Pearl is devilish, the officials reluctantly allow Hester to keep her. Eventually, mother and daughter leave Governor's mansion, although the rumors say that afterwards Hester was invited by Mistress Hibbins, (who is several years later executed as a witch) to go to woods and celebrate the devil.

     Chapter 10 reminds a reader that Roger Chillingworth is using false identity in order to blend in the new surroundings. Several years have passed since his first appearance among the crowd who watched Hester Prynne's public humiliation. He has chosen Mr. Dimmesdale to be his spiritual guide. It happened that Mr. Dimmesdale's health started deteriorating in that period, so people believed that Roger's knowledge of herbs taught by Indians could do good to the clergyman. They denoted Roger's appearance in his life as a sign from God. Roger took his job seriously and not only did he seek for physical illness, he also tried to get to the bottom of it by searching for psychological causes of Mr. Dimmesdale's health problems. That is how Roger and the clergyman became close and even started living under the same roof. But this turned out to be too much for Puritans, as some of them started disapproving their friendship, especially when one old craftsman claimed to have seen Roger back in England thirty years ago, under another name and in a company of a notorious character involved in a murder. From that point, Roger is no longer a positive character in Boston. People now start noticing change in his facial expression, something sinister and evil, making them believe that he is one of devil's servants.

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