The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Subjects: Married women -- Fiction, Puritans -- Fiction, Revenge -- Fiction, Triangles (Interpersonal relations) -- Fiction, Historical fiction, Women immigrants -- Fiction, Boston (Mass.) -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775 -- Fiction, Psychological fiction, Adultery -- Fiction, Illegitimate children -- Fiction, Clergy -- Fiction, PS, I

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From the opening lines of <i>The Scarlet Letter</i>, Hawthorne transports the reader to a New England world of Puritan ethics where characters struggle against society and themselves. When adulterer Hester Prynne refuses to name the father of her illegitimate daughter, Pearl, the threatened town further ostracizes her. Still, many townspeople come to regard the allegorical scarlet letter ‘A’ as meaning “Able” since Hester remains determinately strong.<br><br><i>The Scarlet Letter</i> has retained its relevance years after its 1850 publication because it engages the reader in an exploration into the most fundamental of human emotions that include: love and hate; acceptance and ridicule; trust and betrayal; and repentance and denial. The novel acts as a catalyst for readers to question what they think and why they hold their particular opinions.

All Books by Nathaniel Hawthorne