The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter

By Nathanial Hawthorne

Like I have said a million times before, not all classics are good books. In fact, some are absolutely shitty, to be frank. You never know. You read the book and expect to blown away, probably already knowing the main story by heart, and put it down wondering how in the hell that piece of crap has managed to last so long and attain such an undeserving reputation.

This is not the case with The Scarlet Letter.

I am not going to re-hash the plot because if you don’t already know it, you probably don’t read anyway, so what is the point?

What I was most taken by with this book is the powerful presence of guilt and pride. Contrasted so poignantly is the strength of will of Hester, who not only accepts the public shame of her adulterous “A” but dares to make it stand out even more with intricate threadwork and the overwhelming presence of guilt. She refuses to name her partner in adultery and bears the entire load of the community’s outrage on her own. Pearl, the product of her affair with her clandestine lover, is the embodiment of Hester’s strength, individuality, and bravery to question societal rules and standards. Hester stands tall in the face of condemnation and judgment yet still views her daughter as a permanent reminder of her sin and punishment.

On the other side, the baby-daddy (I won’t say who it is) is consumed by guilt and is literally withering away because of it. Because his guilt cannot be displayed on his clothing for the world to see, it manifests as physical pain and illness.

The story is beautifully written, though sometimes a bit too wordy for my taste. I admit that it can be a little difficult to keep the cultural context in mind but also a wonderful and unique history lesson.

This book deserves the hype and is classic for a very good reason: it’s genuinely good. ( I resisted the really obnoxious urge to give it a grade… bet you can’t guess what letter I would give! I know, I know.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

did you read the book? what did you think?

Elegant de BlogMundi