Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Summary

In 17th century Boston, a Puritan settlement is going about their daily life. A young woman named Hester Prynne is being led out of prison holding her new baby girl, Pearl, with a scarlet letter A embroidered on her chest. Hester is being charged with adultery says an elderly man in the crowd. Hester's husband was much older than she, but when he sent Hester to Boston ahead of him he himself never made it to Boston and was therefore believed he was lost at sea.

Hester has said she will never reveal her lovers identity, however, her public shaming, along with the scarlet letter, is her punishment for secrecy and outrageous sin. On this morning Hester is being led to the town square to be criticized and ridiculed by her fellow townspeople, but never does she reveal the father of her child.

Shunned by the community Hester and Pearl settle in the outskirts of Boston. Though the towns officials are trying to seperate the mother and daughter the two stay together.

Hester's husband that has supposedly died is actually very much alive and disguised himeself with the name Roger Chilliingworth. He has discovered Hester's lover is the minister, Dimmesdale. Also, that he and Hester, with Pearl, plan to flee to Europe so they can live life as a normal family.


Review

I think this book is very well written. Scarlet Letter always keeps you guessing, waiting for the next twist to the story. I liked the style of the author and the imagery Hawthorne used. The only thing I did not prefer was the old English language, I periodicaly had to look up words to fully understand what the author was trying to say.

Favorite Passage

My favorite passage is, “Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart! Else it may be their miserable fortune, when some mightier touch than their own may have awakened all her sensibilities, to be reproached even for the calm content, the marble image of happiness, which they will have imposed upon her as the warm reality.”

I like this passage because it explains the ever ending process of young men trying to woo young women, just in a different way of explaining through words. Also, it shows that all women want is true happiness. We don't need the extrvagances of a "fairtytale" relationship.

The Scarlet Letter (1995) Official Trailer #1 - Demi Morre Movie HD