Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book Review: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet LetterThe Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Book Summary: 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.

Rate(1-10): 7

This is one of those books that I had to read for English class in school. This is one of those books that I had to read that I actually enjoyed.

Now, just to be clear, I began reading this book and I got through about five chapters before I realized that I should just give up and move on to the No Fear version on Sparknotes. So I did that. If I were to rate this book solely on its story, I would rate it an 8.5 probably. If I were to rate this book ONLY on its writing style, 1/10, Nathaniel. But that's kind of unfair. Doesn't mean it's bad. Hell, this book's a renowned classic for a reason! That rating means that I didn't understand ANYTHING he was trying to say. He has an extremely eloquent way with words, this man, but I read the No Fear version because I was more concerned with the story than trying to understand Hawthorne's writing style. Plus, I have a test on this based on the story, not the writing style...

I think I was pretty excited about reading this book because of Emma Stone's performance in Easy A where she's acting like Hester Prynne with the scarlet A on her chest and all. I thought that was weird and interesting and I thought that there had to be an interesting story to go with that simple red A. And then I opened the book and read the first chapter and changed my mind. UGH. Once again, I read it for the story. This has got to be one of the most challenging books I've ever tried to read. I think Shakespeare's easier than this!

Well. I didn't expect the book to be filled with my favorite thing to see in a good piece of literature: romance. The romance between Hester and Dimmesdale is just so frickin' romantic. I can't think of a better word to describe it. It was just so touching (I think it's because I haven't read a good romance book recently) and cute and amazing until the end where there was a spontaneous death um... Well. It's like Romeo and Juliet except 100X MORE ROMANTIC AND DRAMATIC AND WONDERFUL. Romeo and Juliet's "romance" was a joke tbh JUST READ THE SCARLET LETTER IF YOU WANT ROMANCE

This book's main theme isn't romance or about romance (I mean it could be if you thought hard enough about it), but there's just so much of it, a hopeless romantic like me can't just walk away and ignore its existence. Because it's there.

Pearl was creepy af. Don't even tell me how much you like her, or how cute she is--- no. She's a creepy af demon child and I don't like her.

I thought this book was really interesting. I learned a bit more about Puritan values.

Lots of symbols. Lots of twists and turns. Even comedy. Hawthorne's a funny guy. If you don't want to read his writing, go ahead and read No Fear. I would recommend this if someone asked me for a classic.

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