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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Study Guide
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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Study Guide

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  1,116 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Hardcover, 38 pages
Published 1991 by Prentice Hall
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Zach Jones
Mar 06, 2012 Zach Jones rated it it was ok
This book was okay but it did not really catch my interest mainly because of the way it was written with descriptions going on and on and because it is written in old English which I don't really like reading to well. The Scarlet Letter takes place in New England sometime around the mid 1600's when New England was still under Great Britain's rule. The book follows the life of Hester Prynne a young woman who has commited adultery against her husband and then kept the child and raised it, for her ...more
Alberto Lucini
Dec 30, 2015 Alberto Lucini rated it it was ok
Not my type of literature. Good to read for the value of insight, otherwise it plays out like a romantic drama. I found value in the portrait of 19th century Puritan society and their backwards view of marriage and women. Thats about all I took away from it.
Jason Gusman
Aug 14, 2011 Jason Gusman rated it liked it
It's a classic. The premise of the story is great. I love the self punishment Hester endures and her tenacity at keeping the secret of her affair. I really like how Hawthorne introduces her husband, Chillingworth, and his ruthlessly cunning behavior toward Hester and the minister, Dimmesdale, whom she has the affair with that bares her the daughter Pearl. I like how Dimmesdale doesn't have to wear an "A", but instead wears a silent guilt that is actually his demise. But I don't like Pearl. I don ...more
Colby Pryor
Sep 20, 2010 Colby Pryor rated it did not like it
What I took from the Scarlett Letter is a very profound, very simple concept. If I was lucky enough to ever have something distributed to the masses in any capacity or form, I would never make a book like The Scarlett Letter. This book helped solidify which spectrum of the writing world I wanted to exist in and it wasn't the one where this piece of literature existed or was heavily referenced. There were no tools that I wanted to play with in the plot or with the characters. While the type of so ...more
Aug 07, 2008 Christene rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Christene by: Book Club
I'd always wanted to read this, and while the going is a little tough with an old style of reading, the message was compelling. Sin can never truly be escaped from unless we confess and forsake and allow ourselves the blessings of repentance. It was also interesting to see the drastic difference between the view of the woman's sin and that of the man. It was definitely a harsh time in religion.
Book Him Danno
Oct 22, 2011 Book Him Danno rated it liked it
High school required reading and I have to say that even after visiting the House of the Seven Gables in Salem MA I still do not want to read this book again. Maybe it would be better now that I'm not a self centered teenager...but what I remember of it I was bored stiff. I guess maybe I should give it another try. 3 stars because I imagine it is better then I remember from HS.
Anastasia Steinbrunner
Aug 29, 2007 Anastasia Steinbrunner rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People intrested in feminist lit.
Shelves: theold
This book would have gotten my highest rating except for the long and truly superfluous Custom House Preface. If you are picking up this book for the first time do your self a favor and skip that part. Instead savor the beautiful imagery and painful love story. Kudos for Hawthorn one of America's earliest feminist writers!
Sean Walton
Sep 06, 2007 Sean Walton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: greatclassics
I remember having to read this in high school... groan... but who knew it would turn out ot be such a fantastic read! There is no doubt why this one is a classic. It has everything - crime, sex, conspiracy, secrets, religion, public scorn, courage and cowardice, forbidden love, triumph over the odds, all of it.
Jun 19, 2008 Megan rated it really liked it
I read this book back in high school (I should say I read all the cliff notes to this book) and was not interested in it at all. I thought I would give it a try and it was much better the second time around. There are so many different issues throughout the book that I loved hashing over. It was fun!
Aug 23, 2010 barbara rated it it was amazing
Kelsey was assigned this for her honors english class over the summer. I told her i would read it with her. I can't tell you how very much i enjoyed it.... excellent read. Very worth reading and being reminded of the changes in our society, and just how far we have come in humanity.
Kate Tooley
Aug 01, 2008 Kate Tooley rated it it was ok
This is one of maybe, two books I've read where without exception I just wanted the author to speedily kill off each and every character and get it over with. Of course I think I was eleven or twelve at the time so that may have somewhat affected my judgement.
Tiffany Kushner
May 20, 2013 Tiffany Kushner rated it really liked it
It's really American historic classic, so I have to give it a four. The values are really straight forward and necessary for society to learn. I think every child should've read it when they were young.
Noemi Labarga
Apr 08, 2010 Noemi Labarga rated it liked it
Great story but it did not enthrall me the way I like to be enthralled. I am biased, however, being a lover of more modern literature, therefore I cannot write an accurate review of this book.
May 03, 2008 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
This was another one of those "school reads" that I ended up actually enjoying. It helped that Gary Oldman and that actress with the creepy-blue eyes played the main characters in the movie. :)
Feb 08, 2012 Bettye rated it it was amazing
Having just previously read The House of the Seven Gables, I found The Scarlet Letter a much more interesting and enjoyable read, with more depth of character development.
Mar 05, 2010 Anita rated it it was amazing
Wonderful classic! Why are people so intent upon punishing others for their mistakes? Made me sad...repentance and learning from our own foolishness is a gift!
Jun 14, 2008 Sabrea rated it liked it
I read this in high school cause I had to for English. Now, I remember liking it, however, I reall didn't like to read then at all, so my rating is probably skewed.
Feb 28, 2010 Taylor rated it liked it
One of those books you read in high school. I like it though. Of course, I was a geek so I liked just about everything I read in high school...except for Huck Finn!
Nov 06, 2010 Caryl rated it liked it
Difficult to read straight through. I am plugging away but it is wordy. It is difficult to put myself in the position of Hester and the reality of her life.
Jan 05, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it
This book is very hard to understand but if you can look past that it is actually an interesting story. It all depends on if you think it's worth it.
Feb 12, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it
The Scarlett Letter was a very well written truth of how woman were the ones who usually live with the cosequences of a child out of wedlock.
Dec 19, 2010 Remi rated it really liked it
After I got over the hard-to-read part, intially the plot was pretty good! :) But I was not a fan of the ending! Ugh...Chillingsworth!
Jun 29, 2010 Pam rated it liked it
Not the ending I was expecting... if you saw the Crucible it's loosley based on the Scarlett Letter.
Sep 11, 2010 Uchelk added it
its old english so be careful when you read it. but its about abouy and the girl got pregenant.
Jill Jordan
Aug 10, 2007 Jill Jordan rated it liked it
I had a terrible nightmare about growing a bumpy "A" on my chest when I began this book.
Mar 08, 2010 Mindy rated it really liked it
I read this in high school, but not for class. I remember that i really liked it.
Everyone is entitled to at least one literary "great" s/he loves to hate. This is mine.
Megan Matthews
Aug 03, 2008 Megan Matthews rated it liked it
I did not like...Nathaniel Hawthorne really disappointed me.
Feb 16, 2010 Pete rated it really liked it
Great to re-read as it reminded me why it is a classic.
Jul 25, 2008 Emily rated it it was ok
high school read very interesting..but not a favorite
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Nathaniel Hawthorne was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer. He is seen as a key figure in the development of American literature for his tales of the nation's colonial history.

Shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College, Hathorne changed his name to Hawthorne. Hawthorne anonymously published his first work, a novel titled Fanshawe, in 1828. In 1837, he published Twice-Told T
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