Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Scarlet Letter

Before I give a review I have to say thank you to all my followers. It doesn't matter if it's seven and it doesn't matter if I only have a few comments. Just knowing that you guys are even the slightest bit interested in my blog is motivation enough for me. So thank you all! Also, I haven't updated in a while what with all the summer work that I have for school and so on and so forth. Luckily, my AP English teacher did give us three amazing books to read. I fell in love with each and every one and found them blog worthy. SO here is the first book; The Scarlet Letter.

"But this had been a sin of passion, not of principle, nor even purpose."
Let me start off by saying that this can be a difficult read. So if you haven't read it but want to then you're warned. But if you love the old English writing style then you'll love this book. I even cried towards the end and hopefully one of you, if you have read it, will comment saying that you cried as well so as to not make me feel like a sap for being the only one :]
My Review
If you are a brave soul then go ahead and read the introduction to the book. It's Hawthorne speaking and detailing how he came about the story of the Scarlet Letter. I had no choice but to read it even though I was dying to get to the first chapter. It's not a bad introduction, I'm just not a very patient reader sometimes.
This story takes place in seventeenth century Boston at a prison gate where the magistrates and guards are standing by as a woman steps out. She's holding a baby in her arms and a beautifully embroidered scarlet A is on her chest. She walks high and mighty not caring about what other people think or say about her. She's a young and pretty woman known as Hester Prynne. Despite her looks and her attitude she's a sinner in the eyes of the seventeenth century colonists. And she has committed one of the most sinful crimes; "A"dultery.
She's forced to go up on a platform for the whole marketplace to gather around and gossip and point at her for hours. Adding onto this, she must never take the Scarlet A off, and she is being forced to reveal her lovers name. Which she haughtily refuses to do.
Now you may be wondering why, but before that there's a little background information on Hester that's needed. Before she came to Boston she used to live in Amsterdam with her very elderly husband. It wasn't a marriage of love even though he was a kind man. He sent Hester to Boston before him and promised to follow but months passed and he never arrived and was taken as dead by Hester.
And so Hester, a beautiful young woman, undoubtedly fell in love and had an affair. With whom? none other than the young Minister, Arthur Dimmesdale! Can you imagine what would happen if the people found out that their high held, god-like, minister had an affair? Heaven forbid! And so Hester denied and denied the council of men the pleasure of knowing the name of her lover.
So she stood on the platform looking out onto the crowd. Then to her shock and mortification she saw her mistakenly dead husband in the crowd!
When she returned to her cell he visited her and asked to know the father's child. Hester refused and he vowed to find him. He also swore Hester to secrecy about who he was, saying that they were not husband and wife and he would not go by the same name he became Roger Chillingworth. Hester agreed and he left.
Life went on after that encounter. Hester and her baby girl, Pearl, were shunned from society and so they moved to an abandoned cottage on the outskirts of the town.
Hester, Arthur, and Roger go through many events and the story leads to a very dramatic conclusion.
This book was such an emotional read for me. It really shows the religious ordeals and regulations that went on during the seventeenth century. It shows the courage and weakness of the heart and brought forth controversial views on the morality of people. An amazing book from cover to cover.


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  2. When I read the Scarlet Letter I always found that Hester was treated unfairly. She was persecuted for cheating on her husband, and Dimmesdale never had to be publicly humiliated. I also found it very brave of her to wear the Scarlet "A" on her chest and not be ashamed of it, it was almost as if she wanted to re-define what it stood for. And Pearl also had to suffer because of her mothers actions, and I always felt bad about how some people viewed her as a "demon", without even getting to know her. But overall I thought the book was very good.