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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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The Scarlet Letter (1850)

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
24,63727344 (3.39)2 / 807
  1. 133
    The Crucible by Arthur Miller (SandSing7, Morteana)
  2. 113
    The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (chrisharpe)
  3. 31
    Elective Affinities by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (LCBrooks)
    LCBrooks: Allows for interesting comparisons on the subject of double marriage.
  4. 21
    Too Late The Phalarope by Alan Paton (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Sex and guilt in Calvinist cultures.
  5. 21
    Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: Contains a lot of parallels between the two heroines. Acker's '77 novel also contains a scathing deconstruction of Hawthorne's the Scarlet Letter somewhere down the line. If you haven't heard of her, take note. She's worth the attention.
  6. 00
    The Scarlet Letter [1995 film] by Roland Joffé (Waldstein)
    Waldstein: Fascinating interpretation. Very free and very different. Really an independent work of art. If not superior to the novel, certainly not inferior to it either. Good script, excellent cast, beautiful music.
  7. 22
    The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (chrisharpe, kxlly)
  8. 11
    Elsie Venner A Romance of Destiny by Oliver Wendell Holmes (Midnightdreary)
    Midnightdreary: Similar exploration of the question of sin, inherited or otherwise.
  9. 02
    Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell (CurrerBell)
    CurrerBell: Hester Prynne has a spunkiness that Ruth Hilton lacks.
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English (259)  Spanish (6)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (1)  All (273)
Showing 1-5 of 259 (next | show all)
Book made to read in high school. Although the storyline is good it is absolutely horrendous to read. Maybe just because I am not spiritual and the Christian underlines in this book are strong. ( )
  Jychelle88 | Oct 16, 2017 |
Nope made it to page 56 and had to stop. Bored with the storyline and not my cup of tea. I enjoyed the movie much more than the book.
  booklover3258 | Oct 13, 2017 |
I read this book in high school. I should probably read more of N.H.'s books. This is a captivating read and rings so true even today.
Great book! ( )
  Jewel.Barnett | Sep 6, 2017 |
THE SCARLET LETTER is a classic tale about Hester Prynne, a woman sentenced to wear a red letter A on her clothes for committing the sin of adultery. The novel opens with Hester, standing upon the scaffold with her infant daughter in hand, receiving her sentence in front of the entire town. The crowd is full of town gossips who believe Hester should be met with punishment far more severe, such as torture and even death. Hester refuses to lay the blame for her adulterous actions on anyone aside from herself, as she denies the town an answer of who is the father of her child.

Immediately Hester is in turmoil, not just from the never-ending stares at her marking, but because of an evil man who knows her secret. As this man is a stranger to her town, Hester is ordered to keep his true identity a secret for fear that he will reveal the identity of her lover to the town, bringing more shame upon her. Hester vows to live a life of solitude, keeping her garment and outward appearance bland and serving the town as a seamstress. Little Pearl, the child created by this adultery, is an odd being who keeps her month on her toes and remains the one ray of sunshine in her life through this dark time. Slowly, as the years flash by, Hester begins to take claim of her situation and move past the feelings of embarrassment associated with her scarlet brand, only to have her world brought back down to reality in one final dramatic sequence of events.

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing style in one of poetry throughout THE SCARLET LETTER, with long flowing paragraphs describing scenes, people, and situations. While some may be drawn to this style of writing, I was left feeling bored and as if the book drew on too long. As a reader of largely thrillers and crime fiction, which are known for typically being fast paced, I struggled with holding my attention to reading this book. In addition, the overarching Christian and religious themes were something I am not interested in. I understand that at the time these ideas were of a main focus for audience that Hawthorne intended this book to reach. While I struggled a bit with the theme, I did find myself cheering for Hawthorne’s more liberal take, indicating throughout that while he did find Hester’s act of adultery to be a sin, he did not agree with the extreme measures the town cheered for or even the wearing of the scarlet letter A. Despite my own personal issues and stylistic preferences, I found Hawthorne’s novel to be engaging and a plot that provided both romance and despair. It is clear why THE SCARLET LETTER remains a classic throughout this time period. ( )
  jess_reads_books | Aug 11, 2017 |
One of the best classic books I've read.

This book seriously got me thinking about the terms of sexism and feminism. The story was very easy to follow, and just overall a great read. ( )
  thursbest | Jul 17, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 259 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (105 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hawthorne, Nathanielprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baym, NinaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coetzee, J. M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Connolly, Thomas E.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dwiggins, W AIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Francisco, SellénTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, FloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harding, BrianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, DickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Levin, HarryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marx, LeoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wauters, AnnieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments and gray, steeple-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.
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This is the main work for The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553210092, Mass Market Paperback)

Hailed by Henry James as "the finest piece of imaginative writing yet put forth in the country," Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter reaches to our nation's historical and moral roots for the material of great tragedy. Set in an early New England colony, the novel shows the terrible impact a single, passionate act has on the lives of three members of the community: the defiant Hester Prynne; the fiery, tortured Reverend Dimmesdale; and the obsessed, vengeful Chillingworth.

With The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne became the first American novelist to forge from our Puritan heritage a universal classic, a masterful exploration of humanity's unending struggle with sin, guilt and pride.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:14 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Hester Prynne, a young wife in colonial New England, is sentenced to wear a scarlet "A" on her clothing, as a public acknowledgement of her sin of adultery.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0142437263, 0143105442, 0141199458

Library of America Paperback Classics

An edition of this book was published by Library of America Paperback Classics.

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Columbia University Press

An edition of this book was published by Columbia University Press.

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100607, 1400108551

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909438901, 190943891X

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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