The story, not bad The style, unreadable Here is who I would recommend this book to people who like sentences with 4 or 5 thoughts, and that are paragraph length so that they are nearly impossible to understand because by the time the end, of the sentence, has been reached the beginning, and whatever meaning it contained, has been forgotten and the point is lost. Delve Into The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne S Meditation On Human Alienation And Its Effect On The Soul In This Story Set In Seventeenth Century Massachusetts And Be Dazzled By Literature In Nathaniel Hawthorne S Dark Novel, The Scarlet Letter, A Single Sinful Act Ruins The Lives Of Three People None So Than Hester Prynne, A Young, Beautiful, And Dignified Woman, Who Conceived A Child Out Of Wedlock And Receives The Public Punishment Of Having To Always Wear A Scarlet A On Her Clothing She Refuses To Reveal The Father Of Her Child, Which Could Lighten Her Sentence Her Husband, The Aptly Named Roger Chillingworth, Who Hester Thought Had Died In A Shipwreck But Was Actually Being Held Captive By Native Americans, Arrives At The Exact Moment Of Her Deepest Public Shaming And Vows To Get Revenge Her Lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, Remains Safely Unidentified, But Is Wracked With Guilt Though Originally Published In , The Story Is Set In Seventeenth Century Massachusetts Among Hawthorne S Puritan Ancestors In The Scarlet Letter, He Created A Story That Highlighted Both Their Weaknesses And Their Strengths His Knowledge Of Their Beliefs And His Admiration For Their Way Of Life Was Balanced By His Concerns About Their Rigid And Oppressive RulesComplete And Unabridged, This Elegantly Designed, Clothbound Edition Features An Elastic Closure And A New Introduction By Mike Lee Davis I found my old high school review of this book Here s a little bit of my assessment Apologiese in advance If there is a hell, Hawthorne is the devil s sidekick, and the first thing you re given after the stark realization that you re in hell, on fire, and this is going to last forever is this book And you have to do a 10 page paper praising the wondrous virtues of this massive waste of time And after you ve finished writing in your own blood, mind you your stupid paper, you are given another essay topic dealing with this same insipid book Congratulations, this is what you ll be doing for eternity.Haha, I really DID NOT LIKE this book in HS, and it s part of the reason why I have always been apprehensive about US literature especially the classics.Now I m a TEACHER and I m going to revisit this monolith of high school trauma and I ll go into it with as much of an open mind as possible I did the same thing with Old Man and the Sea I remember loathing that book when I read it my freshmen year and the second time around I LIKED IT I did not like either book because my teachers did not do a good job of selling it to me There was little to no background, no setup, no explanation as to why we should read this other than ED Hirsch said you have to, so go read it Teaching 101 never have your students read a book that you yourself do not enjoy I think my teachers disliked both books, and it rubbed off on their students. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel HawthorneThe Scarlet Letter A Romance, an 1850 novel, is a work of historical fiction, written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne It is considered his masterwork Set in 17th century Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt 1976 1334 240 1346 224 1357 1369 252 1385 19 1387 56 86 1387 127 THIS BOOK IS ABOUT A PREECHERS SPERM IT HAS UPTIGHT PEOPLE IN IT Behold, verily, there is the women of the Scarlet Letter and, of a truth, over, there is the likeness of the scarlet letter running alongside herLet s talk a little bit about self fulfilling prophecy If an entire community, and religious sect, brand a girl s mother as a sinner, whether justly or unjustly, then surely the girl will take some of this to heart If the only world she has ever known is one when he only parent is considered ungodly, blasphemous and full of sin, then surely she will begin to reflect some of these ideals When the Puritans branded Hester with the Scarlet Letter, they also branded her daughter metaphorically speaking, of course This novel is a political message directly pointed at the Puritans of early America In their blind devoutness they almost cause the very thing they are actually preaching against Ultimately, Hawthorne portrays the religious sect as hypocrites who are completely self defeating in their actions What s the point in preaching a religion if you don t fully adhere to its doctrine There s none Actions have consequences, so does unjustified damnation Indeed, in this the author establishes how some extreme piety can almost cause impiety Religion can be taken too far Christianity is built upon the principals of forgiveness, and repentance, not punishment and the shaming of the guilty Well, what the Puritans perceive as guilty Then there is the entire separate issue of the fact that those men of the cloth can be guilty too Nobody is completely pure despite what they think Hester s biggest sin is getting pregnant outside of marriage In their persecution of her they don t consider how she could be the victim in all this I m not saying that she is, in this regard, but to the best of their knowledge she could well be She could have been raped They re also unforgivingly sexist they, again, consider Hester to be the guilty party without recognising that it takes two to do the deed Their ignorance knows no bounds to the realities of life they shield themselves with their religious virtue and do not consider that there is a harsh world out there Men like this are dangerous, and in this Hawthorne establishes his messageI have laughed, in bitterness and agony of heart, at the contrast between what I seem and what I am This is a very accomplished novel it provides an interesting perspective on a crucial part of American history It was an enlightening read, but toward the middle it s focus did begin to dwindle I felt like there were a few passages of convoluted and unnecessary narration I mean this was short, though it could have been a little shorter The middle was drawn out with some irrelevant events thrown in I m not entirely sure of their point The language combination was also a little odd at times it felt like the author had lifted certain expressions straight from Shakespeare s vocabulary and infused it with his own The result was a very disjointed and hard to read combination The overall message of this piece of literature is what makes it a worthy read even if its delivery was a little pedantic at times Overall, though, I do attest that this is a rather undervalued novel The socio historical context it provides is tremendous This is a classic I m very glad I read The overall message of this piece of literature is what makes it a worthy read even if its delivery was a little pedantic at times. oh god hawthorne is that perpetually needy manchild of a writer, you know the one who peers over your shoulder while youre trying to read and keeps pointing out the parts of his own writing that he finds particularly good and or moving yeah, see do you see see how i talked about how the rose is red, and then i talk about how hesters a is red, too do you see what im trying to do here, with the symbolism and its like that all the way through the book edit 12 september 2008 im tutoring with this for of my students, as her AP english teacher is teaching it as part of his curriculum and yes, it still sucks as badly as i remember actually, even so, because now i have to teach it. Actually, I ve read this book twice, the first time when I was in high school Reading it again after some thirty years, I was amazed at the amount of meaning I d missed the first time Most modern readers don t realize and certainly aren t taught in school that Hawthorne as his fiction, essays and journals make clear was a strong Christian, though he steadfastly refused to join a denomination and here his central subject is the central subject of the Christian gospel sin s guilt and forgiveness Unlike many moderns, Hawthorne doesn t regard Hester s adultery as perfectly okay and excusable though he also doesn t regard it as an unforgivable sin But his faith was of a firmly Arminian sort and as he makes abundantly clear, it s very hard for sinners mired in the opposite, Calvinist tradition to lay hold of repentance and redemption when their religious beliefs tell them they may not be among the pre chosen elect It s no accident that his setting is 17th century New England the heartland of an unadulterated, unquestioned Calvinism whose hold on people s minds was far iron clad than it had become in his day If you aren t put off by 19th century diction, this book is a wonderful read, with its marvelous symbolism and masterful evocation of the atmosphere of the setting the occasional hints of the possibly supernatural add flavor to the whole like salt in a stew Highly recommended It s great to finally get back to the classics It s been far too long since I read a book with careful intensity, noting throwaway lines that are likely to show up on a multiple choice or short answer test that misses the main themes of a book entirely while managing to ask lots of questions like, In the fourth chapter, what kind of shoes was character you don t even remember wearing I was thinking maybe it would be nice to read a book like this without worrying about that stuff, just absorbing it for what it was and then moving on through my life drunk.Wrong Wrong, wrong, wrong.It s hard to know where to start with this thing.The prose itself is almost unreadable Let me give you an example of what a sentence in this book is like A man who was born in a small town, which bore no resemblance to the town his parents imagined for him when they settled in the area over 40 years ago with every intention of starting a small business selling gift baskets online that sort of petered out after bigger companies like FTD caught onto the whole thing and ran the little guys out with predatory pricing decided to go for a walk one day.I shit you not Whenever I saw a dash I d skip down to find the second dash, and usually managed to cruise through half a page to find the relevant piece where the prose picked up again.Word on the street is that Hawthorne, who published the book in 1850, actually wrote it to seem EVEN MORE old timey than it was, which is pretty goddamn old timey at this point As far as I can tell, writing old timey means 1 Describing furniture and clothing in such exhaustive detail that royal wedding coverage appears shabby and underdeveloped.2 Using commas wherever the fuck you feel like it.3 Structuring the plot in such a way that you already know everything that s going to happen way before it does.Let s talk plot while we re on the topic.The plot is like Dynasty with all the juicy parts pulled out I m serious All events could be summed up by video of a guy sitting in front of a sign that says, Banging people isn t so bad and winking from time to time One of the characters is damned, and as she walks through the forest the bits of light that dot the trail through the canopy of trees literally vanish before she can walk into them Now this would be fine in a book where the damned character was in the woods, say, leading an army of orcs But in a book where the sexual and social s of Puritan society are called into question, it kind of overdoes everything and kills the mood.So it all begs the question What the fuck is going on with these classics The Scarlet Letter, according to a recent study, is the sixth most taught book in American high schools It s very popular, and you can hardly enter a Barnes and Noble without seeing a new version with such awesome cover art that it almost tricks you into buying it.I have a frequent argument with my brother regarding what makes things movies, books, whatever great To him, for example, a movie might be great because it s the first movie to usher in a new era in filmmaking, really redefining an era while paying a loving homage to the past Context is important to him, and reading the stuff on the IMDB page is part of the movie experience in his world.For me, I don t really give a shit about context Knowing that Hawthorne had certain feelings about Puritanism based on his ancestry doesn t really matter much to me Finding out that the main character was based loosely on the author s wife doesn t really do a whole lot for me In other words, I demand to be entertained on at least some level, and if the level of entertainment doesn t spur me on to dig deeper, I think that s a failure of the art and not an example of my own laziness contributing to my dislike of the art in question.Further, when the prose is TOO challenging I am constantly thinking, This is a book I am reading and here is the next line of this book I am not at all swept up in the narrative and therefore don t enjoy it nearly as much.I like to think of books as being like magicians Take a David Copperfieldthe magician, not the book His schtick is to do amazing tricks that appear effortless on his part, which is why they are, well, magical David Blaine, on the other hand, performs feats that do not appear effortless whatsoever, and therefore far less magical It takes a great writer to write a great book It takes an even better writer to write a great book that appears nearly effortless.One might accuse me of rarely reading challenging books, and maybe it s true I find myself drawn to books that compel me to finish them as opposed to those that I feel I have to slog through while other books are sitting in growing piles around my apartment, calling out to me with their promises of genuine laughs, heartbreak that is relevant to me, and prose that doesn t challenge me to the point that it s of a barrier to the story than anything.Perhaps most telling, at the book club meeting we were discussing this last night, and an older lady asked a pretty decent question Why is this considered a classic There are two answers, one that is what the Everyman Library will tell you and one that I would tell you.Everyman would say that the book is a classic because it is an excellent snapshot of a historical period It has a narrative set within a framework that allows us to better understand our roots as Americans The issues of people s perceptions of women and rights of women are still very alive today Overall, it gives us a chance to examine our own society through the lens of fiction, therefore re framing the conversation to make it less personal and easier to examine without bias Blah, blah, blah.I would say it s a classic because it was one of the palatable books that came out during the period when classics were made I would also point out that the canonized classics are never revised We never go back and say which books maybe have less to say about our lives than they used to, or which might still be relevant but have been usurped by something that is closer to the lives we live today I would also say that it continues to be taught in schools because the kind of people who end up teaching high school English are most often people who have a deep and abiding respect for these types of books and identified with these types of books at around that time in their lives I think there are a lot of people out there who never liked these books, and rather than making their voices heard about what they think people should read they just drop out of the world of books altogether.My point is, I think this is a bad book It s got low readability, even for adults The plot is melodramatic The characters are single dimensional crap, the women being constant victims of the time and the men being weak examples of humanity Also, a very serious story is halted in places where we are expected to believe that magic letter A s pop up in the sky like you might see in an episode of Sesame Street.It must have been a very exciting book in its time, without a doubt based on its sales And if this kind of book is your thing, good for you I don t begrudge you your joy It s just not a book that I would ever dream of foisting on someone else, nor would I recommend reading it unless you are absolutely required. So I finally got to find out for myself what the majority of American high schoolers are subjected to, and while I see the importance of a story like this and the ideas it presents in 1850, I think the subject matter is both outdated and irrelevant today One might, of course, choose to point out that Hester Prynne s antics would still today be considered immoral in certain parts of the world, however the difference is that they probably wouldn t treat her so leniently as this seventeenth century puritan community in Boston did Therefore, it is neither applicable nor particularly shocking The most surprising thing was that she didn t get hung for her crime in the 1600s a time when people were attached to boulders, thrown in a lake, and if they drowned they were innocent, and if they survived they were burnt as witches.I think the main problem for me is that a lot of The Scarlet Letter relies on the religious aspect instead of the social aspect It s much harder to appreciate the tragedy of that blemish on Hester s soul when you re not religious I expected a lot ostracising and name calling from other members of the community but most people talked to Hester like she d done nothing wrong though, they tended to stare at her scarlet letter and her bad reputation didn t seem to affect her life massively Like I said, Hester Prynne s real struggle was with how God saw her and if she could be forgiven in the afterlife.In fact, it didn t seem to me like much of the main story was about the scarlet letter attached to her bosom If you don t know the story, basically Hester Prynne commits adultery that results in the birth of an illegitimate child, the ministers then rule that she should be forced to wear a scarlet letter A for the rest of her life so she will be publicly shamed This is at the beginning in the first couple of chapters After that, the story is about finding out the identity of the father no mystery at all , interactions between Hester and her husband, and the growth of Hester s illegitimate and really annoying child.The greatest strength of The Scarlet Letter is that it gives us Hester one of the early strong female protagonists She is far feisty and willing to stand up for herself than most Austen for one example characters, but she also lacks the depth of personality that other nineteenth century female creations have But, beyond the scandal, I m just not sure this book is worthy of its popularity I had a look on sparknotes to try and see why the novel earned its masterpiece badge, and many of the techniques and themes explored are such as the use of night and day to be symbolic and the choice of namesChillingworth is cold and inhuman and thus brings a chill to Hester s and Dimmesdale s lives Prynne rhymes with sin, while Dimmesdale suggests dimness weakness, indeterminacy, lack of insight, and lack of will, all of which characterize the young minister The name Pearl evokes a biblical allegorical device the pearl of great price that is salvation If it is this kind of small attention to details that makes a story so brilliant for you, then you might just love The Scarlet Letter But I prefer something bigger, that moves or inspires or angers me I don t want to have to analyse a text to discover how great it is, partly because I believe you can see symbolism in anything if you look hard enough see Shakespeare It s not that I mind this nitty gritty stuff being there, but I think it s a poor substitute for well developed characters and plot.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer He is seen as a key figure in the development of American literature for his tales of the nation s colonial history.Shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College, Hathorne changed his name to Hawthorne Hawthorne anonymously published his first work, a novel titled Fanshawe, in 1828 In 1837, he published Twice Told T
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- The Scarlet Letter
- Nathaniel Hawthorne
- 21 October 2017 Nathaniel Hawthorne