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The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter Cover

ISBN13: 9781853260292
ISBN10: 1853260290
Condition:
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Synopsis:

Wordsworth Classics covers a huge list of beloved works of literature in English and translations. This growing series is rigorously updated, with scholarly introductions and notes added to new titles.

Synopsis:

This work is a troubling story of crime, sin, guilt, punishment and expiation, set in the rigid moral climate of 17th-century New England. The young mother of an illegitimate child confronts her Puritan judges, as she suffers a harsh sentence and the guilt as her lover is revealed.

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cccash3, April 1, 2014 (view all comments by cccash3)
The Scarlet Letter is written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and was first published in 1850. The theme of this book is how sin causes pariahs. Hester Prynne is shunned throughout the whole book, because of the adultery she committed. She becomes an outcast to the Puritan society and is forced to live under isolation. She is stuck hiding the truth due to her ex-husband’s dominance and the reverend’s guilt. I liked The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne, because although Hester Prynne was considered an outcast she managed to be a woman of integrity. She becomes free from the two men that tied her down and overcomes the typical role of a woman.
The book is set during the 1600s in Boston, Massachusetts. Puritan religion is strict and witch trials are held. Hester Prynne goes to jail for her sin and has to stand on a scaffold for 3 hours, because this is her punishment for people to know what she has done. Also, she has to wear the letter “A” for adultery on her bosom for the rest of her life. Townspeople condemn and put shame upon those who commit sins, and everyone knows what you have done. Punishment is dealt with very differently to show public embarrassment, and people are practically cast out of their town so ‘holy’ people don’t have to be involved with sinners. Yet, Hester Prynne moves outside of town so that she can live a life better than she would have in town.
The main points the author concentrates on are sin, revenge, gender politics, and religion. Hester Prynne sins and her husband, Roger Chillingworth, shows up from being taken captive by Indians for about a year. He wants revenge after finding out what his wife has done, “Therefore, as a man who has not thought and philosophized in vain, I seek no vengeance, plot no evils against thee” (71). Although he says that, he smiles and glares at Hester like she is a prize to be torn down. Chillingworth’s true task is to find out who her adulterer is. After, Hester lives with her illegitimate child, Pearl, away from the town. As Pearl grows older, she asks Hester, “What does the letter mean, Mother? and why dost thou wear it? and why does the minister keep his hand over his hear?” (171). Pearl is very curious and doesn’t understand yet why Hester wears it, but plays with the scarlet letter as if it’s a pendent. Reverend Dimmesdale is the father of Pearl, but is too guilty to admit it and ends up suffering mentally and physically. While in the forest with Hester, Reverend Dimmesdale says, “Else, I should long ago have thrown off these garments of mock holiness and have shown myself to mankind as they will see me at the judgment seat” (182). In the end, Dimmesdale admits being Hester’s adulterer and dies along with Chillingworth. Pearl ends up living a happy life while Hester is back in Boston living in her old home and still wearing the scarlet letter.
I think the book achieves its goal well to cover the effects of sin and how it portrays into the severe lifestyle back in the 1600s. The idea of evil demonstrates how harsh alienation can be and brings up the idea of gender roles. The role of men portrayed how powerful and controlling they are supposed to be. Then with the role of women showed how Hester really went against the typical submissive, weak characteristics. Specific points that are convincing in this novel are the fact that in the 1600s sin was a big deal and open punishment was normal. Parts that are unconvincing are how the Reverend acted with his guilt. I think that he would have confessed his sin sooner than he had since he is supposed to set a holy example for the townspeople. I do think this book is a successful work of art, because Hawthorne focuses on religion and how sin is dealt with so differently than it was hundreds of years ago. Artistic goals that his book has accomplished are the gender politics that were portrayed by the characteristics of the characters he created. The book did achieve its perceived goals and this book will stay with me in the future, because the lessons in this story were all about becoming truthful, confident, and accepting the mistakes. I think that all of those are very applicable to the way society disgraces people today and it’s more important to do what’s best for you and not concentrate on what society has proclaimed you to be.
Overall, I liked the book due to the antagonizing sin that started all these problems and how it eventually became resolved through the truth and forgiveness. The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne provided the theme of sin causing outcasts and dealt with gender politics that pointed out the dominating features of men and the unlikely emotions of females.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781853260292
Author:
Hawthorne, Nathaniel
Publisher:
Wordsworth Editions
Location:
Ware
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Novels and novellas
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
American fiction (fictional works by one auth
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Series:
Wadsworth Collection
Series Volume:
425
Publication Date:
19920531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
197 p.
Dimensions:
7.75x5.00x.47 in. .29 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

The Scarlet Letter Sale Trade Paper
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Product details 197 p. pages NTC/Contemporary Publishing Company - English 9781853260292 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Wordsworth Classics covers a huge list of beloved works of literature in English and translations. This growing series is rigorously updated, with scholarly introductions and notes added to new titles.
"Synopsis" by , This work is a troubling story of crime, sin, guilt, punishment and expiation, set in the rigid moral climate of 17th-century New England. The young mother of an illegitimate child confronts her Puritan judges, as she suffers a harsh sentence and the guilt as her lover is revealed.
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