Susan's Reviews > The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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What do you say about a classic like The Scarlet Letter? I'm going to skip the synopsis this time - trusting to pop culture to give you an adequate summary - but I will give you my thoughts on the novel.

Modern readers will no doubt find that The Scarlet Letter drags in places, but if you can get past the ba-jillion commas, 15-letter words, and page long paragraphs, the quality of the plot is exceptionally good. The language is archaic, but the novel is in no way boring. Hawthorne uses intense symbolism and dizzying imagery to transport us back in time to Puritan New England, and gives us an insight into the life of Hester Prynne that we are not likely to forget.

The Scarlet Letter is a brilliant, gripping, thoroughly human novel that's characters and themes continue to reverberate in our collective consciousness more than 150 years after its initial publication. The story is thoroughly compelling, the prose rich and poetic, and characters complex. The book moves rather slowly, but it does give the reader time to think about the timeless issues of love, betrayal, and deception.

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