Easy A

October 28, 2010
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In the movie Easy A, Emma Stone plays an incredibly intelligent high school student, named Olive Penderghast, who is barely noticed throughout her school. But even Olive’s best friend seems to be overly intrusive on Olive’s life, and ends up starting Olive’s problem in the first place. The only people Olive really seems to like throughout the film are her parents and her English teacher, which is a bit unordinary since usual high school students do not rely on their parents and teachers to be their best friends. Either way Olive’s relationship with her parents and not with other students is done to show how she is one of the outcast nerds of her school, which plays a large role in the rest of her conflicts throughout the story.

Olive’s problem starts when her obnoxious, so-called best friend, annoys her to the point where she must lie about sleeping with a college student just to get her friend off her back. This small lie soon spreads throughout the school, which is what first brings Olive into the light as a not-so-good-girl. Her predicament is made worse when other male nerds begin to ask her to pretend to have sex with them just so the rumor will get out around the school and they will become cooler. Soon enough the students of the school end up believing that Olive has slept with almost half of the guys in the school, and Olive is outcast as a whore instead of a nerd.

At first Olive seems to like the attention. She ends up getting so annoyed by all the rumors going around school about her that she just goes along with them, and begins dressing up in inappropriate cloths to go along with how everyone now sees her. Olive even seems to be proud that she is standing up for herself and not letting everyone else put her down.

It just so happens that Olive is reading the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne in her English class, which completely relates to Olive’s situation. In the Scarlet Letter, the main character Hester Prynne is seen as an Adulterer to the townspeople because she had a child with a man who is unknown to the town, while her true husband has still not been proven to be dead. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her chest for “Adulterer”, which is much better than the normal punishment for adultery at the time, which is death. Hester is not given the death penalty because there is a very good chance that her husband is actually dead. Regardless, Hester at first feels incredibly ashamed of her sin, and because she is a true Puritan she repents and allows her child to mock and punish her for her sin. However as time passes, Hester learns to get used to the townspeople shunning her and accepts her sin. The townspeople end up seeing Hester’s “A” as a good sign because she stayed so true to her religion by repenting.

Olive is very similar to Hester because they are both outcast by their society, even though they take place in two very different time periods. They also both learn to accept their sin and get used to their societies shunning them. Olive even puts a scarlet letter “A” on her own chest, which makes her almost identical to Hester. Both Olive and Hester are outcast for the same reason of adultery and neither of them can find any support from anyone else beside themselves.

Overall the movie Easy A is a new, modern, more up-to-date form of Nathaniel Hawthorn’s Scarlet Letter. Both the movie and the book have a very important theme that you shouldn’t care how others look at you; you should only do what you want.

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