The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers

8) What are Hester Prynne’s secrets?

Hester keeps secret the name of her illegitimate child’s father (Reverend Dimmesdale) and the true identity of Roger Chillingworth (her husband). She will not reveal Pearl’s father to protect Reverend Dimmesdale’s reputation, as he is the minister of the church. She does not reveal that Chillingworth is really her husband because she has promised him that she will not. However, she regrets this promise several times and eventually breaks it by revealing to Reverend Dimmesdale Chillingworth’s true identity.