The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Re: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Post by P Reefer »

The Scarlet Letter is quite a riveting narrative, a definite page-turner that might best be appreciated by lovers of classic literature.

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Post by Mely918 »

Even though it dragged at points to me, I really liked it's use of symbolism. I'm a big fan of symbolism, so this book won me over with it. It's not a book I'd read all the way through again, but I would read certain passages to further analyze the symbolism.

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Post by mgosselin137 »

The responses to The Scarlet Letter in this discussion remind me a lot of those of my tenth grade students when we read the novel. It tends to be one that is very polarizing in classes. Most of my students find it boring and difficult to read, but it really resonates with a select few. With so many people introduced to The Scarlet Letter in high school, I am not surprised by this. As a teacher, I choose to teach it to tenth graders because I feel like the content of the novel has the potential to relate to their daily lives. It is rare to meet someone who has never felt isolated, judged, or in some way inferior at some point in their school careers. For the students who can connect to Hester on this level, her experience can be very reassuring. For many students though, the language is just too dense for them to see beyond it to the message of the story.

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Post by Serena_Charlotte »

I liked the symbol of Pearl herself as a punishment for Hester. I've always thought of Pearl as a demon inside a child's body. She had a habit of throwing things at the scarlet "A", constantly reminding Hester that it was there. I also liked the scarlet "A" as a symbol because as time passed, people began to misinterpret it as "Able" rather than, perhaps, "Adulteress".
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Post by bclayton13 »

I do love the Scarlet Letter, and I've studied it in at least two different classes. In my college class everyone loved it but there was a very spirited discussion on what a terrible person Arthur Dimmesdale was. The majority read his long soliloquies about his suffering and felt he was a massive jerk, considering the one suffering was Hester, not him. It was amazing how much he was universally despised.

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Post by Fuzaila »

Serena_Charlotte wrote:
19 Jun 2018, 12:15
I liked the symbol of Pearl herself as a punishment for Hester. I've always thought of Pearl as a demon inside a child's body. She had a habit of throwing things at the scarlet "A", constantly reminding Hester that it was there. I also liked the scarlet "A" as a symbol because as time passed, people began to misinterpret it as "Able" rather than, perhaps, "Adulteress".
Although Hawthorne tried to mark Pearl as an evil reminder for Hester of her past and her shameful acts, for me Pearl felt more like a savior. She reminds Hester of the spirit of nature, the delight of company and the hope for a good future.

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Post by Githumaina19 »

As good as this novel sounds I agree that it should have been a short story. However the personification is a good example of how to capture the interests of the best and worst readers alike

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Post by lettiebeth »

Hawthorne was a rather dark and gloomy author, and this story definitely showcases that characteristic, with its undertones of sin and misery.

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Post by ratpizza »

I read this book in 11th grade. I have to say I really enjoyed it. Hester is so different from most of the women during that time period and I love how she didn't let the scarlet letter, which was meant to be punishment, get to her. This book is a great read.

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Post by LatteFairy »

What I find striking about it on the second read is the use of very long sentences (this is probably common in literature of the period), that flows really well upon reading it. There isn't a sense of there being any overload of information; it's descriptive but rightfully so. I set out to understand why this book was important as a canonical piece of literature. It has historical value having been based in the colonies of North America and as a history student it's fascinating. I came out of it though hooked in to themes of exclusion, resilience and the strength displayed by Hester.

It is honestly fantastic; sad though it is, the cultural norms that permeate through the texts make for an abrasive but very interesting read.

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Post by VSuraj »

I really liked this novel, especially the language. I loved how the author described human emotions and expressions, very descriptive, detailed and engaging. I do agree with some persons that the story was a bit long, but I liked it regardless. I admired Hester's character, it's almost as if she wears the letter in a subtly proud way; she isn't afraid to be in public, although she isn't bold about it.
I also agree that by the time you get to the end of the story, the letter seems to have a different meaning, something less scandalous and embarrassing.
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Post by Carolreads30 »

I am sure that I read this in English lit class in 10th grade, but I truly don't remember much about it other than I was not a fan of the story and I thought that it was a hard read. Any of the classics that we read, might have been a hard read at that time in my life. Now, I would love to reread some of them. I recently read Uncle Tom's Cabin and although, the language at times was difficult, I found the book to be much better than the first attempt at reading it. I believe that to truly enjoy these books, you must understand the full meaning and the information behind them and as high schoolers you are not aware of the issues that make these types of books classics..

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Post by Sammy822 »

I tried to read The Scarlet Letter in grade 8. I didn't understand a single thing and never finished it. After that, it is my most dreaded book.

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Post by Undertaker5squad »

What I really like about The Scarlet Letter is the contrast between the town- which symbolizes what I would call grace- and the forest- which would be plain untrained nature. The Puritans pretend nature doesn't exist, and Hester/ Dimmesdale give in to nature without making use of grace, giving rise to Pearl, the symbol of pure nature. When Hester and Dimmesdale learn to accept and use grace (at the end), Pearl is transformed into a balanced person. The point I think Hawthorne is trying to make is what St. Thomas would call grace building upon nature. I don't think it's about a feminist empowerment agenda, but the basic universal human struggle to live a balanced life. Hawthorne succeeded in writing a classic because he wrote about something we all face, the struggle between town and forest, nature and grace.

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