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The Scarlet Letter
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message 1: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
We will start tomorrow.


message 2: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
You guys can set the pace. I should have been taking notes :) I'm only on chapter 8, though, so I'm not too far ahead. I won't read anymore tonight or tomorrow so you guys can catch up.


message 3: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) Where do you have to be by Monday for your class?


message 4: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jun 07, 2013 04:50PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
Through chapter 12.


message 5: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
How about 6/day?


message 6: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
That would work for me.


message 7: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
Hannah, my 11 year old, is reading Iron King and loving it!


message 8: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
Sweet :) I need to read that series.


message 9: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
I wouldn't mind starting that series after we read Magic Study series.


message 10: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) Neither would Gwenn. I know she's interested in it. And I wouldn't either. I am so excited for the new one in October.


message 11: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
Sounds good to me.


message 12: by Sheri, Princess of Power (last edited Jun 08, 2013 12:27PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
Alyssia, since you just finished Poison Study maybe you can answer this for me (it's been a while since I read it) - (view spoiler)

I liked being in Valek's head for a bit :)


message 13: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) (view spoiler)


message 14: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
Thanks :)


message 15: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
Did you guys read the Custom House? It apparently tells about the narrator - a man who found old documents detailing the story of the SL that had occurred 200 years before and decided to write it down into a story.


Gwenn (idlecuriosity) Chapter 6 is due on the 8th? I will work on that. Excited to talk w you ladies

horray for iron fey. sounds exciting.


message 17: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) I love it. "Due". Like it is homework. <3


message 18: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) This is so much fun! It's been forever since I last read this, and I read When She Woke only last year, so my thoughts about The Scarlet Letter were a bit muddled from the comparison.

My official thoughts on 1-6 I will add after some other people talk, but I was going to say two things:
first of all, I noticed this time that the bonds are "iron" which amused me because of the way that her daughter is constantly referred to as "airy" "sprite-like" and "elven" ... I've noticed this tendency in other writers too - Toni Morrison does it - focuses on iron when she brings in the supernatural. Lots of "literary" authors seem to.

I just finished I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced today, and in Yemen adultery is still punishable by death. It is a matter of honor.
What might surprise you (it did me) is that this doesn't go just one way. If a girl is raped, she might be made to marry her rapist (for honor), but if her husband is with another woman (not a second wife, that's different) then he will be jailed and put to death as well as the other woman (married or not).

It was interesting for me to start rereading The Scarlet Letter right after finishing Nujood, because we tend to think of such shunning and severe punishments as matters of the distant past, but they aren't really.

Have any of you read When She Woke? I think I remember that you had a while back ...
I wanted to make a reference as a point of discussion, but I didn't want to ruin anything.


message 19: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
I did read it but it wasn't really that interesting. I am having trouble with the language in this one.
What is up with her husband? He wasn't in the picture? No one knew she was married and he didn't want the community to know. He was such a winner! Not! No wonder she looked for comfort, companionship and love else where.


message 20: by Lys (last edited Jun 09, 2013 01:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) The language takes some getting used to. I have some highlighted quotes to share, but I'm in bed, so... Tomorrow. But, Leigh-
He sent her ahead and then was delayed. Many people thought he died. When he arrived, two years later, she had a baby from another man. He doesn't want to be a cuckold, so he asks her not to reveal him. Also, he is determined to find out who caused her to "stray".
But, as she points out, she never loved her husband. She might not have had an affair if he hasn't been delayed, but then again...


message 21: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
I was thinking of When She Woke as well and comparing the two, though trying not to. Leigh and I buddy read it a while back. I remember you adding comments into the discussion.

I was kind of waiting to comment here until someone else did as well :) Reading about the Puritans and their strict laws makes me glad I wasn't alive back then…I do not consider myself a bad person, but I could never live up to their standards. And then their hypocrisy is astounding. They look to Hester as an outlet for their hatred/fear because her 'sin' was so out in the open. You know each of them had their own sins to hide, probably the ones belittling her the loudest were the ones with the most to hide. Even the priests were prideful and vain.

Pearl is a curiosity. She is more than once described as 'elfin', and she definitely does her own thing.

A couple of questions – was Hester afraid of her husband? She seemed to think he was there to kill her and the baby. Maybe that was just expected of a husband who caught his wife cheating at the time? Ok, just one question for now.


message 22: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
I have a hard time with the language, too, but I think my Shakespeare course last term is coming in handy...this isn't as nearly hard as that was!


message 23: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
The hypocrisy was overwhelming. I couldn't have lived under that level on condemnation. Hester accepts this as her punishment. I know why her husband said it and why he wasn't there. Evidently, he cared more about his reputation than he did for his wife. As for Hester thinking he was going to kill her that's what they did in the Old Testament. They stoned adulterous women.


message 24: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) I have so many thoughts!
Little pearl is adorable. And of course she is wild and free and unfettered - her mothers isolation allows her to grow without being taught to be so self-conscious by socialization. There is also fierce defiance in her - she is her mothers "scarlet letter" in every way. Hester isn't nearly as accepting of the "due" of her crime as she pretends. At least, not always.


message 25: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) So, now that we've read today's section, just in case anyone wasn't sure who the naughty papa was ... (view spoiler)


message 26: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
Hester never tells Pearl who her father is but somehow she knows.


message 27: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) Children pick up on subtle emotional cues. Actually, they learn those better than what is spoken aloud, at least according to some studies.


message 28: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) Chillingsworth is really astute as well. All that analysis practice.


message 29: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
Alyssia wrote: "Children pick up on subtle emotional cues. Actually, they learn those better than what is spoken aloud, at least according to some studies."

Yes, they do. I love when she asks him if he will stand with her and her mom. He says no but one day before the Lord. That is the definition of hypocrite!


message 30: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
Alyssia wrote: "Chillingsworth is really astute as well. All that analysis practice."

He is a sneaky one.


message 31: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
I love the way science is played against spirituality - which will win in the end? The whole town is pushing Chillingsworth towards Dimmesdale to "cure" him of his sickness, but shouldn't a town so steeped in religion really be forming prayer circles and interventions or whatever to cure him? And they talk about how freeing it is to purge yourself of your sins, but Dimmesdale himself pretty much admits all it is is gossip - that there is no real penance in confessing to anyone but God.

Pearl is something else altogether. The men feel she has no respect for authority, but really I think it is more she doesn't fear them or their judgments because she hasn't been taught to.


Gwenn (idlecuriosity) I'm digging the Chillingsworth/Dimmesdale relationship. I think Chillingsworth is an awesome alias for him cause he is so /creepy/ when the narrator talks about him.
I think there's a similarity between how he is narrated about and how Pearl is. both are genial when they talk for themselves Ch. all intelligent and P. all friking adorable toddler. but when the narrator starts talking about them Ch. becomes some malicious devil and P. is an alien creature.

I think double talk is a big part of the whole book if you add that idea in with the whole mess of hypocrisy from the towns folk that you guys have mentioned.

I really liked the scene with the commet and getting the older minister's spin on what that huge red A in the sky could have meant. He just sorta trips over the blind spot of there's a lady that wears a bright red A and goes woosh over to Angel for the dying guy. I expected more of an outcry against Hester for, i dunno, some crazy silly puritanical thing like she called up a devil to write her sin in the sky or something. but if they're not gossiping about her, i suppose they'd rather just ingore that she exists.


Gwenn (idlecuriosity) Leigh wrote: "What is up with her husband? He wasn't in the picture? No one knew she was married and he did..."

Right? everyone thought he was dead. and as far as the towns folk are concerned, he still hasn't arrived in the town. When would they have just declared him dead and start calling her the Widow Prynne?


message 34: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
There are so many metaphors in this book, I have no idea when something means what is said or when it means something else. Maybe it always means something else. While I do not particularly care for the writing style here – I'm not a huge fan of third person anyway and all the metaphors drive me crazy – I do have to give props to the whole I'm writing one story but telling another thing.

I hate that Dimmesdale blames Hester for his weakness, and I hate that she still loves him and wants to run off with him – it has been seven years she has had to take all the blame on herself.


message 35: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
I agree Sherri. Dimmesdale and Chillingsworth both blame Hester for their shortcomings, "sins", and evil deeds. It is so easy to blame someone else for the things we do. Both men should have accepted their own blame.

How about Pearl not coming to her mother without the "A" on her chest? Pearl is definitely a unique child.

I still find it hard to read or listen to.


message 36: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) Sheri wrote: "There are so many metaphors in this book, I have no idea when something means what is said or when it means something else. Maybe it always means something else.

This part here is sort of the overall point, right? I mean, that there isn't one way of looking at it, that a symbol is more than a cultural construct, that people can be symbols, etc? I mean, I am thinking of the A for Angel bit - and the fact that everything is a symbol. Life is a symbol. At that point, doesn't decoding become almost impossible (and certainly ridiculous?)

I am not being very coherent. But I will post more later.

Yesterday the new semester started and I pained a room. Today my husband has pinkeye. :(
I am sorta exhausted and frazzled (and a little bit behind), but I will catch up.


Gwenn (idlecuriosity) Hugs for lys!
I am also a bit behind, but not for good reasons. A friend loaned me veronica mars and now bed time just catches up to me much faster.


message 38: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
Alyssia wrote: "Sheri wrote: "There are so many metaphors in this book, I have no idea when something means what is said or when it means something else. Maybe it always means something else.

This part here ..."


I hope your husband feels better soon.


message 39: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
At the end Dimmesdale claims both Hester and Pearl. The hate that Chillingsworth harbored killed him in the end. Shocker was what he left for Pearl.


Gwenn (idlecuriosity) Finished, and the ending was pretty wierd. I was all yay for Dim. Who finally frew a backbone... Wait, what, why are you dying. And i agree that Pearl's inheritence was random. You would a spiteful scientist/doctor would donate his land to a university, not to a kid by another guy. He seemed to have fond memories of Hester, but not that fond.
So, strange ending.
I thought the writing was charming and rich, but it took a turn to the convoluted sometimes. I think my favorite part of the story is when the author gives the reader a rose. Breaking the fourth wall is a fun device.

It was interesting how he kept remarking that things in Hestor's days were so much different than 'now', but his current point of views were still out of date to us. It worked to further separate the story from me and frame it, so uh... I kinda lost what i was going for there. But it is more like a fable than a historical fiction story. If that makes sence.

I would love to hear what your class is disscussing about the book :D


message 41: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
I agree...the ending was pretty random.

We haven't actually discussed in class yet. I think that will come next week. So far we've been focusing on shorter works by Irving, Poe, Melville...

I also have to write a critical essay over some point in the SL next week, and I have no idea what I am going to do yet.


message 42: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
In case anyone cares...I ended up writing my paper over the men in Scarlet Letter - I focused on how their deceitfulness ultimately led to their downfall.

I titled it "The Phony and the Fake: A Character Study of Roger Chillingworth and Arthur Dimmesdale"

:)


message 43: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
I like that Sheri. How did you do on it?


message 44: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) Sheri wrote: "In case anyone cares...I ended up writing my paper over the men in Scarlet Letter - I focused on how their deceitfulness ultimately led to their downfall.

I titled it "The Phony and the Fake: A Ch..."

Sorry, i missed the post about not having anything or I would have been all yammering.
But I LOVE this title/idea. The men are so interesting.
How long is it?
I want to read it! =D


message 45: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
I just turned it in Leigh so I probably won't have it back until the end of the week.

It was 5 pages (max limit). I think I would be scared to have you read it Alyssia! Being a teacher yourself, I'm afraid you would think it sucked :)


Gwenn (idlecuriosity) i think it sounds really cool too. and good show hitting the max limit, i never had the gumption for that :)


message 47: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
Haha, when I first started I was afraid I wasn't even going to be able to fill the minimum of 3 pages, then I was afraid I was going to have to cut some, but it all worked out.

If you really want to read it I will email it to you Alyssia :)


message 48: by Lys (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lys (lysrowan) Not if you are uncomfortable, but otherwise, heck yes!


message 49: by Sheri, Princess of Power (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheri | 12022 comments Mod
I sent it to you Alyssia. How is the house coming along?


message 50: by Leigh, ⭐Wonder Woman⭐ (new) - rated it 2 stars

Leigh | 14711 comments Mod
Sheri, I know you did well on it.


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