Friday, June 1, 2012

The Scarlet Letter Written by: Nathaniel Hawthorne

I heard of The Scarlet Letter all throughout my life, and a lot of the time I would ask myself, well what is this about? However, I never spoke about this book with anyone else., and only in the halls of High School heard "It's a classic romance novel."  So, finally I decided let's see...well, I must say it is not exactly a romance novel, more of a long suffering shared by four people, one of which you do not know is tied to the other two until very far into the book. This book is set in a very dark time I find at least of pre America, it is when the Puritans have their extreme views and ways of lives. The story begins after a long prologue I mean long, I absolutely hated this introduction to the story. It was dry and long and altogether just ghastly in how boring it was. The story then opens and is written as if by a different person entirely. Still, I must say it was very clever and eloquent with how Hawthorne cast and played upon his creations with a lot of symbolic comparisons with Puritan culture, Nature, and Christian belief. The Punishment of the Scarlet letter also to Hester is very fascinating especially with the culture in which I live today. Adultery, is not exactly a crime it can screw you with court ordered payments for the rest of your life, but overall generally in our society there are no major consequences and some people even become famous over such scandals. Where as in Puritan time these crimes "Sins" were given great thought and creativity in this case to the punishment. Then again Hester does receive her own kind of "fame" as time goes by. I cannot say I overly enjoyed the book being a modern free thinking women of this day and age, and to witness how easily Hester accepted her fate was frustrating, but perhaps I softened towards her at the end when I understood why she suffered her fate so. I did not completely understand her relationship with her daughter either, I understand what Pearl represents, but the relationship is so odd. I won't mention the other characters of the book because it would definitely give the Story away. The ending of the book too is odd, but when you pull back all the layers and Hester's own take on the world both physically and spiritually then you can begin to understand why she does what she does before her own life ends. I think this would be a great book to read with a group of people and to analyze all of the metaphors and comparisons very similar to that of "The Crucible" both these books have so much going on behind the words it would be fun, educational to bounce off ideas and delve further into the story.

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