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.
I had never heard much about The Scarlet Letter before I got it assigned for my AP English class. I brought it home and I read my first assignment. I was not a fan. To my discovery that night Khy was reading it as well for her AP Class. Each night we’d be discussing the book and what we did and didn’t like.
The Scarlet Letter is definately a book I appreciate, but not one I was real crazy about or a book you’d find me rereading. I did like the voice and the characters, but the descriptions bore me to death. The long passages of description just put me to sleep.