Anie's Reviews > The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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's review
Apr 15, 2012

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bookshelves: 2012, classics, fiction, on-kindle, male-author, female-protagonist, male-protagonist
Read from April 15 to 24, 2012

When I first read this book in high school, I absolutely adored it. I loved the language; I loved the characters; I felt myself deeply, deeply involved in the story. I was amazed by Hester's strength, drowned in Dimmesdale's shame with him, was terrified by Chillingworth. In the parlance of our times: intense.

Rereading this now as an adult, the book comes off more clunkily. The language seems not just old-fashioned, but a little stilted. The story is less enthralling. And yet, I find myself still in love with the characters. I continue to find Hawthorne's portrayal of Hester to be one of the most feminist portrayals of a woman in literature in pre-20th century literature---and frankly, more feminist than many portrayals of women in 20th-century literature. Pearl remains intriguing, Dimmesdale both sympathetic and tiresome, and Chillingworth a nasty piece of work.

Although I'm rating the book fairly low, it's definitely a book I recommend---I think it's well worth reading for the character development alone.


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