The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Category: Classic, Novel

Summary: It is 1642 in the Puritan town of Boston. Hester Prynne has been found guilty of adultery and has born an illegitimate child. In lieu of being put to death, she is condemned to wear the scarlet letter “A” on her dress as a reminder of her shameful act.

Hester’s husband had been lost at sea years earlier and was presumed dead, but now reappears in time to witness Hester’s humiliation on the town scaffold. He becomes obsessed with finding the identity of the man who dishonored his wife. To do so, he assumes a false name, pretends to be a physician and forces Hester to keep his new identity secret. Meanwhile, Hester’s lover, the beloved Reverend Dimmesdale, publicly pressures her to name the child’s father, while secretly praying that she will not. Hester defiantly protects his identity and reputation, even when faced with losing Pearl, her daughter.

Hailed by Henry James as, “the finest piece of imaginative writing yet put forth in the country”, Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a masterful portrayal of humanity’s continuing struggle with sin, guilt, and pride.

The Scarlet Letter - Part 1

- The Scarlet Letter - Part 2

The Scarlet Letter - Part 3

The Scarlet Letter - Part 4

The Scarlet Letter - Part 5

The Scarlet Letter - Part 6

The Scarlet Letter - Part 7