The Scarlet Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Quote: " A little longer, and thou needest not to be afraid to trace whose child she is. But how strangely beautiful she looks, with those wild-flowers in her hair!"` Hester pg. 186
Started: Feb.20, 2013
Finished: March 1, 2013
paperback/ 247 pages
From the cover:
Hailed by Henry James as " the finest piece of imaginative writing yet put forth in the country," Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter reaches to our nation's historical and moral roots for the material of great tragedy. Set in an early New England colony, the novel shows the terrible impact a single, passionate act has on the lives of three members of the community: the defiant Hester Prynne; the fiery, tortured Reverend Dimmesdale; and the obsessed, vengeful Chillingworth.
With The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne became the first American novelist to forge from Puritan heritage a universal classic, a masterful exploration of humanity's unending struggle with sin, guilt, and pride.
I loved the story and the how the book teaches us somewhat about how society treated sins. I wasn't thrilled with the writing style. I felt like the whole Introductory threw me off into what the story was actually about. I wasn't interested in that much detail about Hawthorne himself. Also, this version/print is categorized a teen read and honestly, I do not feel any teen would have read the first 45 pages of how Hawthorne became who he was and why he wrote a story such.
On to The Scarlet Letter. My impression as a whole was that it was...sad.
Sad, and tragic.
Hester, while feeling she had made the only choice she could after her "sin" was committed, put herself more so into a place of isolation and loneliness. By choosing not to reveal who her husband truly was or her lover(father of the baby) she set herself up for more heartache. I realize times were much different than today, but I can't help but feel she caused her own burden and with it a distance from her own child. She seemed to use the child as a punishment rather than a blessing and I cannot agree with that at all.
I detested Chillingworth. He was selfish, whiny and too woe is me. Dimmsesdale didn't fair much better, in my opinion. What a coward! All because he wanted to save his own reputation and ego. How could he live within the same community, seeing them so often and never acknowledge what part he had played??? How could he let Hester take all the shame and responsibility on herself and watch his own child become the next generation of target to those who knew?
Shame on him!
3 stars* for Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter