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Easy A Earns An Easy D


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The movie Easy A, written by Bert V. Royal, is slightly based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter. If the movie was to act as a summary or modern metaphor to the book, it would earn a D in the grade book. Firstly, the main character, Olive Penderghast, does not wear the scarlet letter during the entire film like Hester Prynne does in The Scarlet Letter. Secondly, Oliver has a large family compared to Hester, but the movie does not portray the family as being close knit. Thirdly, Easy A isn’t clear as to which characters in the movie relate to the novel’s characters.

Easy A deserves a D for its relativity to the novel, The Scarlet Letter. To begin, Olive Penderghast, the main character, did not wear the Scarlet Letter during the entire movie. Hester Prynne, the main character in The Scarlet Letter, wore the letter constantly during the whole book. The letter is what defined Hester and everyone in the town knew her because of it. Olive is known for losing her virginity and being easy to sleep with. The letter was a punishment for Hester, but a way for Olive to receive more attention from her peers. Secondly, Olive has a family and even some friends at the beginning of the movie. Hester is alone during the whole book with the exception of her daughter, Pearl. Olive has more friends and family members in the movie, but the writer does not spend time describing their relationships. The author of The Scarlet Letter spends many chapters explaining the intricate relationship between Pearl and Hester. The movie does do a good job of making it clear that Olive is able to talk to her family and still has a good relationship with her family during her hardships. Hester always has Pearl to depend on for company, even when the world seems to have turned its back on her. Thirdly, the characters in the movie are not always clearly related to characters in the novel. Hester is the main character in The Scarlet Letter and clearly relates to Olive Penderghast in Easy A. Marianne in the movie also relates to the Puritan society as a whole because of her religious and judgmental feelings toward Olive and her sins. Olive doesn’t have a daughter but in the novel, Hester’s daughter, Pearl, is a major character. Olive also didn’t cheat on one man for another like Hester and the movie doesn’t clearly show any relationships that Olive has had in the past that would cause her to wear the letter.

Although Easy A wasn’t meant to be a serious take on The Scarlet Letter, it deserves a D on its accuracy to the novel. The Scarlet Letter has many themes such as public guilt versus private guilt and how punishment should compare to the crime. Easy A has a theme more about the importance of a good reputation and what people think about you. From the book I learned that the punishment of a sin can affect you more deeply and longer than when it first happens. Guilt can also be more harmful and lasting than any physical punishment. Hester stood at the scaffold but her punishment followed her everywhere in the form of a scarlet letter “A” on her clothing. Dimmesdale’s guilt also caused him to harm himself and nearly spill his secret multiple times. From Easy A, I learned that falsely losing your virginity is a bad idea if you want attention and that one action can lead to a disastrous chain of events so it’s good to think your ideas through carefully. Easy A earned a D on its ability to summarize the Scarlet Letter, but an A on entertainment!



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