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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthrone

on February 21, 2013

The-Scarlet-Letter  The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne


The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a book often read in schools. My high school decided that this book was not necessary to the curriculum of every student, so until now I have not been forced to read this particular book. Books like 1894 and The Great Gatsby were read instead. I am honestly happy that The Scarlet Letter was not required reading in my high school.


The book is about this woman, Hester, who had an affair. After the discovering of her pregnancy while her husband was away, she was imprisoned like all threats to society. A while after she has her baby, she is paraded through the town square with a big A sewn onto her clothes. This is specifically done so everyone will know she is an adulteress.  All the people yell at her, but she still refuses to give up the name of her baby daddy. THEN, then she sees her husband (not the baby daddy obviously) and tells no one because he told her not too. Spoilers, the minister is the father of the child. This causes the minister to have internal guilt, which is amplified by the ridicule of his baby mama. The husband in all this finds out about the whole minister sleeping with his wife thing, and decides to punish the minister while pretending to be a physician. In the end, Hester and her daughter Pearl live together away from the town that ridiculed her.


The whole point of adultery in this story made a lot of the more religious people mad when this book came out in 1850. They thought not enough remorse was shown, and that adultery should not be talked about. I feel as if they are missing the point. The people who object to this book often have obviously not read the book, or they are the people the book is warning against. When someone tries to ban a book for being “pornographic and obscene” when it has no pornographic or obscene content, you need to find a better hobby then picking fights with school systems. Most of the more recent challenges to this book have been dismissed because they are, well, dumb.


This particular book is not my favorite writing style, so I had problems forcing myself to read it. It is written in an old English style, but the story is there and understandable. The content is better than some books *cough* Twilight *cough*. I would say maybe you should read it once in your life, but if you have not read it, you can just get the gist from Easy A.


4/10 because of writing style


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