Skip to main content

Review: "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne


From Goodreads:  Set in the harsh Puritan community of seventeenth-century Boston, this tale of an adulterous entanglement that results in an illegitimate birth reveals Nathaniel Hawthorne's concerns with the tension between the public and the private selves. Publicly disgraced and ostracized, Hester Prynne draws on her inner strength and certainty of spirit to emerge as the first true heroine of American fiction. Arthur Dimmesdale, trapped by the rules of society, stands as a classic study of a self divided.

My Thoughts:  This is my first book finished for the Classics Bribe.  Yay!  I feel like I should have read this book a LONG time ago but I was kind of afraid of it.  After reading it, I am kind of surprised at myself because it was not bad at all.  It was a nice change to read a book that is mostly told from an outside perspective; it felt like I was watching through someone else's eyes.  There is a narrator but we never find out who this person is and and that never bothered me. 

Hawthorne's writing is so good and his descriptions are fantastic: from the gold stiching on Hester Prynne's scarlet "A" to little Pearl and her personality, it was easy to imagine the characters and their world.  Hester was such a strong, passionate character and I really admired her ability to deal with being ostracized by the people in town.  She is a sharp contrast to Arthur Dimmesdale who I really didn't like.  I understand why he portrayed the way he was but he just seemed so sniveling and pathetic.  I wanted to shake him and yell "Man up!".  Based on his personality, it was really hard for me to imagine his involvement in Hester's story.  I was also kind of mad at the end because it felt like to me that he got off a little too easy (I don't want to give anything away so I won't elaborate).

Honestly, while I admired Hester immensely, my favorite character in the book was Pearl.  She was just so different!  She was bubbly and precocious and the way Hawthorne described her made her seem so adorable.  The way he describes her playing in the woods and her reactions to her mother and Dimmesdale was just awesome. 

In the end, I was really glad I read this book.  It is definitely a unique piece of literature adn I really enjoyed it.  3 stars.

Quotes I loved:
"No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true."

"The child could not be made amenable to rules. In giving her existence a great law had been broken; and the result was a being whose elements were perhaps beautiful and brilliant, but all in disorder, or with an order peculiar to themselves, amidst which the point of variety and arrangement was difficult or impossible to be discovered."

Comments

  1. I read this back in high school. I remember not liking it and deciding that it was too manly of a book to be so strongly about a woman's life. Like you Pearl was my favorite character. Maybe I should re-read it and still see if I dislike it.

    Beth ^_^
    http://sweetbooksnstuff.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was surprised that I enjoyed it. I tried to read it several times and never got past the first few pages.

      Delete
  2. I tried reading this book, but it just didn't happen. It wasn't so much the book itself than the circumstances which wouldn't let me read it. I think I should try again, eh?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

If You Want to Read About...Russia (Historical Fiction edition)

This is my second 'If You Want To' post on I thought I would focus it on historical fiction set in Russia.  I am obsessed with Russian history (I even got my master's in Russian Studies) and so anytime I see a work of historical fiction that is focused on Russia, I have to read it.  Personally, I don't think there are that many really good works of Russian historical fiction  but below are some of my favorites.  I may do another post at some point that focuses on non-fiction about Russia and/or Russian Literature.

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons-I'm sure you are all well aware about my love for this book.  It's seriously one of my favorite books ever and it is set in Russia which makes me love it more!

The Jewel of St Petersburg by Kate Furnivall-This is a wonderful love story set at the beginning of the Russian Revolution.  It has wonderful characters and a beautiful setting.  It's the first in a trilogy but I think it was the definitely the best of t…

Trailer Blast and Giveaway: "The Lost History of Dreams" by Kris Waldherr

The Lost History of Dreams by Kris Waldherr

Publication Date: April 9, 2019

Atria Books

Hardcover & eBook; 320 Pages



Genre: Historical/Gothic/Mystery





A post-mortem photographer unearths dark secrets of the past that may hold the key to his future, in this captivating debut novel in the gothic tradition of Wuthering Heights and The Thirteenth Tale.

All love stories are ghost stories in disguise.

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh’s remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne’s last book, The Lost History of Dreams.

However, Ada’s grief-stricken niece r…

Review and Giveaway: "The First Lady and the Rebel" by Susan Higginbotham

Synopsis: 

A Union’s First Lady
As the Civil War cracks the country in two, Mary Lincoln stands beside her husband praying for a swift Northern victory. But as the body count rises, Mary can’t help but fear each bloody gain. Because her beloved sister Emily is across party lines, fighting for the South, and Mary is at risk of losing both her country and her family in the tides of a brutal war.

A Confederate Rebel’s Wife
Emily Todd Helm has married the love of her life. But when her husband’s southern ties pull them into a war neither want to join, she must make a choice. Abandon the family she has built in the South or fight against the sister she has always loved best. With a country’s legacy at stake, how will two sisters shape history? My Thoughts:  I'm going to start by saying that I love Susan Higginbotham's books!  They were some of my favorites when I was first discovering the historical fiction genre.  The First Lady and the Rebel was the first book of hers that I&…