4 of 5 stars to The Scarlet Letter, a classic romantic period tale written in 1850, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Students are often required to read excerpts from this book, if not the whole book, during school. I was one of those students, but then I read it again in college as part of my American Romanticism course during freshmen year. But I also read it a third time prior to a movie being released, as I liked the actors in the movie, but wanted to be able to compare the literary work against it… and it had been a while since I’d read the story.
It’s a tough work to get into, given the language and style. But once you do, it flourishes. Apart from being one of the most influential works of Puritan belief systems, it also broke ground by truly focusing on a woman who has done something sacrilegious above and beyond any normal broken sins. To lay with a man when you are not married… ugh, let’s throw some stones at that vixen! Phew… not that I got that out of my system…
I love the story. It was necessary at that time to push the envelope. People needed to break away from Puritan traditions of the former century. Minds were starting to open up about what it meant to be in love, to have a child and to be on your own. I may not agree with some of the lessons in the story, nor with the beliefs of all the Puritanical books, but there’s something to be said when this story can transcend time — and become a much copied work of literature. So many modern stories and books reference The Scarlet Letter… show the “A” on a woman’s chest… even down to something like Pretty Little Liars which has nothing to do with this book, but the villain simply goes by “A” in the first few books. Some may think I’m pushing it by connecting those dots, but it all got its start from this book, in my opinion.
Love it. But can’t give it a 5 as the language is difficult, tho I understand it was fine for the times.
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