Friday, November 18, 2011

Book Review: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

        This is a book many students are assigned to read in school.  I was not assigned it.  Not every book on the book list gets assigned to every class.  This was one other classes read, but mine missed out on.  I won from the book Hester by Paula Reed.  This book takes place after The Scarlet Letter.  Perhaps I should have read The Scarlet Letter first, but I didn't.  I knew enough about the book to understand Hester.  After reading that book I found DailyLit, a website that sends emails of free books.  I signed up for The Scarlet Letter

        The story was very confusing to follow.  I knew the crux of it, girl has an affair with a preacher gets pregnant and has to wear a scarlet A on her chest every day.   I think if I had not read it so slowly I might have understood the story better.  I read the book on my computer so it wasn't always available for me to pick up or take places.

        The following is my summary of the story, if you do not want to be spoiled, do not read ahead, thank you.

        The story is set in 17th century Boston.  Hester Pryne has given birth to a daughter named Pearl.  An onlooker ascribes she was waiting for her husband, who sent her to America ahead of him.  While waiting she  committed adultery and he never arrived.  The onlooker is her husband, now going by the name Roger Chillingworth.  Only Hester knows this.

        Hester does not admit who the father is.  She is shunned by the community and I suspect she doesn't want him shunned either.  The father is the minister.  Surprisingly, Chillingworth moves in with him and ends up figuring out the minister's, Arthur Dimsdale, connection to his wife.

        Dimsdale tries to punish himself for his sins.  He doesn't want Pearl to acknowledge him.  Hester wants Chillingworth to stop with Dimsdale's pain, but he won't do it.

        Hester and Dimsdale plan to leave for England.  Hester takes off her letter which bothers Pearl for she does not know her without it.  Chillingworth finds out of their travel and schedules the same boat.  Dimsdale reveals himself to the town as Hester's lover and dies.

        A year later Chillingworth dies. No one knows what happened to Hester and Pearl except that they are not to be found in Boston.  She returns later with the A still on her chest and without her daughter who married someone.  Hester dies and is buried next to Dimsdale.  The end.

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