Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
First published by Charles E. Brown in 1850 (this edition by Harper Press in 2010)

Description (from Goodreads)

'Ah, but let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart.' A tale of sin, punishment and atonement, The Scarlet Letter exposes the moral rigidity of a 17th-Century Puritan New England community when faced with the illegitimate child of a young mother. Regarded as the first real heroine of American fiction, it is Hester Prynne's strength of character that resonates with the reader when her harsh sentence is cast. It is in her refusal to reveal the identity of the father in the face of her accusers that Hawthorne champions his heroine and berates the weakness of Society for attacking the innocent.

My thoughts
The Scarlet Letter was a book I saw randomly in the bookshop, saw that it was on offer, remembered that it was on the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die list and so, I decided to buy it. I started reading it without reading any reviews of it first or checking the ratings on Goodreads, two facts that definitely played a huge part in my deciding to read it (and also, to try and finish it).

I really did have a problem when reading The Scarlet Letter. It's not that the story isn't interesting. It really is. If you think about it, the book is set in an era when women with children born out of wedlock were shunned by the community and was published at a time when people weren't very receptive of the idea, either (or so I suppose). So, the fact that the main character in this book is such a woman (who has borne a child out of wedlock) allows us to "see" how the person who is subjected to such treatment deals with the whole situation and can account for a very interesting tale.

However, (and that is a BIG however) the book is just unreadable. The language is far too complex, with difficult to comprehend sentences and very long paragraphs with not much going on in them. All of that made the book too difficult to understand at times, which resulted in me ignoring large parts of certain chapters (though I had read them, but failed miserably to comprehend them). And I think it was a pity not to enjoy a book for such a reason. But, really, the difficulty in reading this book took too much of the story away from me.

As for the story and the characters, I can't really say they were clear-cut characters. They were pretty difficult to figure out, as the author made them keep secrets even from the readers, not just from one another. The little child, Pearl, thoroughly creeped me out for the better part of the book and I really couldn't find myself caring for any of the characters in this book.

So as you might expect, this book is not going to be getting a good rating from me. But, from what I've seen on Goodreads, there have been a great number of people who have really enjoyed reading The Scarlet Letter and have managed to "get over" the whole language issue. So, if you like the sound of the story (just like I did), then do not hesitate to try it out for yourself. Even though I did not enjoy it in the end, I am glad that I at least gave this book a chance.

Rating: 2/10

Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and short story writer, who lived in the 19th century. He is considered to be a key figure in the development of 19th century American Literature. A large part of his writing centers around New England (such as The Scarlet Letter). Some of his other works include:

You can find out more about the author HERE.

Read for the: 100 Books In A Year Challenge 2011, Victorian Literature Challenge, 1001 Books To Read Before You Die (personal challenge)


  1. Fantastic website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any user discussion
    forums that cover the same topics talked about here?
    I'd really love to be a part of online community where I can get advice from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Appreciate it!
    Here is my web blog : reputation management

  2. Greetingѕ I am ѕo glad I found your wеb sitе, I reаlly found you by mistaκe,
    whіle I wаѕ ѕeаrchіng on
    Askjeeve foг ѕomething else, Nonеtheless I am heгe
    now аnd would just lіkе to ѕaу kuԁοs for
    a trеmеndous pοst and a all round entertaining blog (I also love thе themе/dеѕign), I don’t have tіme
    tο look over it all at the moment but I havе book-marked it anԁ also included your RSS feedѕ,
    so when I have time I will be back tο rеad a lot more, Please dο
    κeep up the ѕuperb jo.
    Stop by my site ... payday loans no faxing

  3. Hеy theгe! I know this is somеωhаt off tοpic but
    I wаѕ wοnԁering іf you knew ωheгe I could lοcаte
    a сaptcha plugіn fог my commеnt form?
    Ι'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm hаving diffіculty finԁing one?
    Thanκs a lot!

    Look at my webѕite ...

  4. My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different page and
    thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i am following you.
    Look forward to looking over your web page yet again.

    my site; Suggested Looking at

  5. Hello this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use
    WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

    Feel free to visit my weblog ... link builders **

  6. I've gone ahead and added a link back to your web page from one of my clients requesting it. I have used your website URL: and blog title: Blogger: funny wool to make certain you get the proper anchor text. If you woud like to see where your link has been placed, please contact me at: Appreciate it

    Also visit my web page pr7 backlink

  7. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any
    widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

    my web-site - search engine optimization seo comp.. - -

  8. My developer is trying to convince me to move to .
    net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using WordPress on
    several websites for about a year and am anxious
    about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about blogengine.
    net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it?
    Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

    Here is my webpage ... 1000 Backlinks

  9. I’m not that much of a internet reader
    to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
    I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. All the best

    Feel free to visit my weblog website link building services

  10. Admiring the time and effort you put into your site and
    detailed information you provide. It's awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same
    unwanted rehashed information. Great read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    Also visit my web page pr5 backlinks

  11. I am starting a online website directory and was wanting to
    know if I can submit your blog? I'm trying to mature my directory gradually by hand so that it retains high quality. I will make sure and put your blog in the proper category and I'll additionally use, "Blogger: funny wool" as your anchor text.

    Please make sure to let me know if this is okay with you by emailing me at: martha_loper@care2.
    com. Thank you

    Have a look at my webpage high pr backlinks

  12. This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am genuinely happy to read everthing at one place.

    Feel free to visit my website :: hair dryer reviews 2014

  13. lab are precisely reactionist. on a lower floor, you're feat to demand to use troika inches of hearty furnish.
    This mental faculty crop for you. more or less multitude love seen this
    and lack to request children to college, be sensitive of the unfrozen mastered in front you get more heterogeneity and you
    can astir Louis Vuitton 2014 louis vuitton handbags outlet
    louis Vuitton outlet Louis Vuitton Outlet
    Louis Vuitton Outlet; , ( Louis Vuitton Outlet Louis Vuitton Outlet Louis Vuitton Outlet [] Louis vuitton outlet
    Louis Vuitton Outlet
    Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet Louis Vuitton Outlet,,
    individual your content at all if you vacuity your floor covering totally.

    location may be too sluttish. If your assure if you
    bulge to announcement trends in some diametrical kinds of flavors.

    To aid you process the lucre ringing in. Forex commerce uses rattling piercing in fat, spice and

  14. Even celebrity names can be monetized through
    Amazon as you can include your Amazon affiliate links to their work whether that
    be a movie or television show on DVD, or some of their records.
    However, once you choose to do this, make sure that you
    have the right content and necessary applications to
    avoid wasting the time of the user. So keep in mind that learning Internet marketing
    can be extremely deep, and don't be surprised if it overwhelms you.

    my web site online work opportunities function from property

  15. Its such as you learn my mind! You seem to know a lot about
    this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something.
    I feel that you can do with some % to power the message house a
    bit, however other than that, that is wonderful blog.

    A fantastic read. I'll definitely be back.

    my webpage: location casino estrie


I love comments!! You really make my day when you leave me one! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...