Class: Honors American Literature       


Academic Challenge: Analyzing Literature


Student Expectation:

       Students will actively engage themselves in the learning process.

       Students will personally challenge themselves.

       Students will write and speak in a clear, organized manner.

       Students will access, process and apply information effectively.

       Students will solve problems by utilizing and analyzing information from a variety of sources.

       Students will demonstrate critical and creative thinking.

       Students will use technology in management of information.


The Question:

How can a novel be analyzed using knowledge of themes, symbols, structure, philosophical concepts and/or rhetorical devices.


The Challenge:

We have read and discussed The Scarlet Letter. Your challenge is to choose one of the following options and create a clear, well supported presentation analyzing Hawthorne's masterpiece.


Hawthorne uses the town's scaffold to structure his novel. Discuss how he uses the three scaffold themes to make thematic statements.


It has been said that this novel is not really about Puritans or even religion, but about the human condition as Hawthorne saw it. Using the events and symbols, identify and explain his view.


Based upon Hawthorne's style, diction and use of rhetorical devices, detail the tone of this novel and his attitude towards his main characters.


In the third scaffold scene, it is said that Dimmesdale regains his soul,  Pearl gains her humanity, Chillingworth loses his will to live and Hester loses her dream. Explain how this is true for each of the characters.


Hawthorne has been described as a "Transcendental Grump," meaning that while he was influenced deeply by transcendental thought, he had reservations about it as well. Using a combination of characterization, plot, theme, symbols and settings, make the case that this novel both supports and criticizes Transcendentalism.


Transcendentalists believed that all natural facts are symbolic of universal truths.  With that in mind, detail how Hawthorne used a plethora of natural details (including those generated by humans) to create universal statements in this novel.


The Scarlet Letter is always present on lists of great literature. Why?


Your presentation should include a handout for each class member and exude creativity and alacrity.


  Good luck and be legendary!





Product Standards:

The presentation is on time.

The presentation's main points are well supported with logic and specific references to the text.

The presentation has a helpful and accurate handout.

The presentation exudes creativity and alacrity.