The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter Summary

An Apple Books Classic edition.

Hester Prynne lives in infamy. After committing adultery and bearing a child with a man whose name she refuses to divulge, the heroine of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel is forced to wear a scarlet A to mark her shame for all to see.

Hawthorne’s American classic reflects the Puritan mindset of Boston in the 1600s, where public humiliation was acceptable punishment for a woman who bucked the norms. Never mind that Hester’s husband was widely believed to have died at sea and that Hester and her daughter are living a quiet life of good deeds in their little cottage outside town. Someone wants revenge-and will stop at nothing to get it.

The Scarlet Letter incorporates supernatural elements with historical fiction. It’s a dark tale of sin and redemption with an unforgettable heroine whose story continues to fascinate readers and inspire film adaptations.



Book Reviews

lauhgingemoji267

The Scarlet Letter is outdated1 star

The Scarlet Letter is the most outdated book to read in the school. Do not use this as a book to read for your students; as they will hate it and tell others how bad it is. Read this if you enjoy reading centuries old literature.15

mistborn addict

Good5 star

It’s relative to the world back then but it still does have an affect today, but just not as powerful as back then.55

Matt8385727

Not what I expected5 star

It took me a while to get use to the way it was written and what the book is actually about. I found it to be very deep and poetic. It’s not so much a book of action but more about the situation as a whole. I can’t say it was “exciting” but very much so a really good book to read.55

marin4200

Ugh.2 star

A book isn’t good just because reading it made you feel smart. I had to read this for school, and it did indeed make me feel smart as most of my classmates didn’t even try to read it and opted to use SparkNotes instead, but I was still annoyed the whole way through with the writing style. Every little thing was over-explained. Instead of focusing on moving the story along, or even going into detail about things relevant to it, Hawthorne would analyze a little, irrelevant detail, going on a pages-long tangent about it. I understand that some find this fascinating, but for me it was tedious and unnecessary. It seemed like the only point of it was for Hawthorne to flex his vocabulary and for the reader to flex their elitism for having stayed awake through it. Also, what was with Pearl’s character? Despite Hawthorne’s frequent reminders that she was a little girl, I felt like I was reading about a very stubborn old man whenever she did anything. This was a very strange feeling. Overall, I’m glad I’ve finished it and can say I’ve read it. However, whenever I see or hear about it, I will feel nothing but annoyance and loathing.25

jadenhawkins

Class reading4 star

I had to read it for class, and I was being lazy so I figured I’d just get it on my phone. Turned out decent, though I would’ve enjoyed it more if we could shorten down on the commas. You don’t need five per a sentence. Anyways, all in all a perfectly enjoyable book. A jord45

Anama8504

Good reading3 star

I can see why this is considered a classic book, and also understand the dislike esa if some people, this is not a romantic story as some may put it, there are some parts were you get tired of reading, but out of all is a good reading for a weekend. If you want to enjoy it more put your perspective as a person from that time period.35

Daniel Brand

Never read it in school5 star

I can’t remember but I think that I was supposed to of read this in school. Never did. As an adult it piqued my curiosity. It was difficult getting started because the old English and the florid language with complex sentences (multiple commas) we’re difficult to comprehend. however, after a while I got the groove and could comprehend it pretty well. It was a riveting story. Loved it.55

Chantell johnson

The crazy people5 star

A very good book. A very good movie with Demi Moore in it.55

Globalstandard Space

It’s SO HARD to me.3 star

I don’t need say “said he”. But, now okay.35

geekusprimus

One of the best pieces of classic American literature.5 star

The Scarlet Letter is one of my favorite pieces of classic literature. Hawthorne is not the easiest read, but the book is beautifully written. I read it the first time some years ago as a junior in high school as part of the required reading for my English class, but I fully enjoyed the book and quickly understood why it’s considered a seminal work in American literature. Some of the other reviewers seem to be disappointed by the novel, so perhaps it’s worthwhile to explain what it is not: this is not an action-packed thriller, nor is it a cheesy romance novel for middle-aged women on their second divorce. In fact, nothing about this novel could be considered “light reading.” At the same time, however, this book is not, as some reviewers have suggested, merely a criticism of Puritans, who were many generations removed from its writing. Rather, it’s a very moving tale about hypocrisy, redemption, forgiveness, and honesty; a story of a young woman who thrives in spite of a punishment not commensurate with her crime and a priest who languishes in private as he reflects on his own hidden sins. So, take a few evenings to read this book. Its message is as relevant today in 2020 as it was in 1850.55





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