The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

March 13, 2011
By Anonymous

The book “The Scarlet Letter” By Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the story of Hester Prynne, an adulterer who became pregnant while her husband was absent and was thus condemned by her puritanical village to wearing a scarlet “A” on her bosom.

There is no doubt about the message conveyed by this story: It is both a criticism to the judgmental and strict puritanical society and an insight on the humiliation and guilt that a sinner feels, and the remorse that accompanies him. I personally thought it was very interesting to get to know the puritanical world better, not only its most blatant flaws but also the sense of community and even family its members share with each other. It is an honest depiction of it that helped me build more knowledge about the subject, especially considering that it is not a topic many chose to write about.

The book is a classic, and a hard one to read: Many descriptive passages in archaic language, which can make the reading at times difficult and tiring. However, it is not completely uninteresting: It provides a rich vocabulary and an original style that can benefit the reader, a challenge that pushes him to broaden his knowledge of the English language.

The plot, also, is interesting: The events are surprising and unexpected, which pushed me to bear through the sometimes never ending descriptive passages, since I wanted to know so eagerly what happened next.

Perhaps the best part of the novel is how developed the characters are: Nathaniel Hawthorne offers the readers a peek into the soul of every major character, and develops its thoughts and desires so thoroughly that the reader has no doubt, at the end, that they really existed: It adds a lot of realism to the story, an offers a better understanding of the human nature and constant duality between right and wrong a person may experience.

The only negative aspect I found to the book was the long preface that didn’t really add anything to the story: It is especially hard to get done with, without really benefiting the story in any way.

In conclusion, I would say that the “The Scarlet Letter” and its analyses of the issues and different aspects of society, especially the puritanical one, is a classic, one of the books that one must read at some point. The good thing is: It is really interesting; enough that you would read it for pleasure more than obligation, and keep as one of the treasure of Literature.

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