The Scarlett Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne's


The Scarlett Letter follows the life of Hester Prynne after her release from prison. It takes place in a Puritan community where Hester has been punished for conceiving a child out of wedlock. She gives birth before her release and is forced to wear a Scarlett letter A on her bosom. She is publicly displayed with the letter emblazoned upon her dress holding the child she conceived. The book follows the years of Hester and her daughter's lives and displays the hypocrisy of men in the Puritan village.

My Favorite Passage

“She could no longer borrow from the future to help her through the present grief. Tomorrow would bring its own trial with it; so would the next day, and so would the next: each its own trial, and yet the very same that was now so unutterably grievous to be borne. The days of the far-off future would toil onward, still with the same burden for her to take up, and bear along with her, but never to fling down; for the accumulating days and added years would pile up their misery upon the heap of shame. Throughout them all, giving up her individuality, she would become the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point, and in which they might vivify and embody their images of woman's frailty and sinful passion."

Why I like this passage

The above passage is my favorite because it speaks of the insurmountable struggles Hester Prynne will face in the rest of her life and displays the views of the men. The passage also speaks of the strength of Hester Prynne and her faith.

Character Analysis

Hester Prynne

Hester Prynne is shown as a responsible person in the fact the she gracefully accepts the punishment she is given and acknowledges that what she did was a sin. She is also portrayed as strong as she doesn't react to the many taunts. She teaches her child the same faith that is endowed in other Puritan children and she is awe inspiring in that she takes full responsibility for her sin although another was crucial in the act.


Pearl is the child of Hester and is a symbol of the evil of Hester's sin. She is living punishment for Hester and is the greatest torment. Despite Pearl's evil ways and rare affection, Hester loves her deeply which only inflicts more pain. Pearl is a malevolent little girl.

Book Review

In my opinion The Scarlett Letter is an okay book. It speaks volumes about the hypocrisy of man and their sins. It sets an excellent example of taking full responsibility for your own wrong doings and living with consequences. I would recommend the book if you enjoy a challenging read and I would recommend it more for females than males although both may enjoy the book. I personally did not love the book but encourage everyone to give it a try and form your own opinions.