Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Whether you've read this book or not, chances are you know what the story is about. Hester Prynne wears a scarlet letter on her chest as punishment for Adultery. She was sent over to New England before her husband, had an affair with an unknown member of society, and ended up with child. She wears the letter on her chest every day and her daughter, Pearl, sees this as normal.

The book is well written and, I'm sure, an English teacher's dream. Never having done that well in English class myself, I can't say I really enjoyed it. I found it incredibly dry in places and sometimes wished Hawthorne would stop babbling and just get to the point already. Point in case, Hawthorne wrote a 46 page introduction to the novel, for a 275 page book!

People say this is a novel of everlasting love but I didn't see it that way. How could two people that love each other so much go seven years without talking to each other, regardless of their circumstances?

Needless to say, this is not my favourite book in the world and I don't think I'll pick up any Hawthorne books in the future.

First Line: "A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments, and grey, steepled-crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes."



1 comment:

Jeane said...

I had to read this in school. I really enjoyed the descriptions and some parts of the story but I agree with you, it didn't seem to be a story of "everlasting love".