The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter (1850) is Nathaniel Hawthorne's romantic novel set in 17th-century Puritan Boston. It is the story of Hester Prynne, an adulteress who struggles to create a new life of dignity and repentance. She is forced to wear a red "A" on her chest as a sign of her sinful act. The Scarlet Letter is considered one of the fundamental - if not the greatest - works of American literature, and American highschool students have been forever forced to read it. For all of its distinction however, the Scarlet Letter is a novel - as far as action goes - in which next to nothing happens. The narrative involves Pryne's attempt to resolve the torment caused by her affair with the minister Arthur Dimmesdale, in the years following the episode, but the affair itself is not in the novel, and is only alluded to.
Though some might complain that Hawthorne's book is slow, full of overly ornate language, and "full of holes," the author does magnificently and masterfully employ just about every known literary technique to tell a simple, yet emotionally dramatic tale. The first chapter is not not strictly attached to the rest of the novel, thus is the most difficult to read. But followed closely, it contains subtle foreshadowing of the nature of the society in which the story is about to take place: Hawthorne forewarns us of how the rituals of society will plague the lives of the minister, Hester Prynne, and her daughter. In doing so Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter captures the most taboo elements in the society in the simple tale of woman trying to escape her past.
Downloads on Classicly are completely free- these books are public domain.
We don’t pay a cent, so neither do you.
October 18, 2013
This is a great book, it leaves you wondering why is it not okay to love publicly, yet it is okay to hate publicly?
October 08, 2013
I hate this
September 30, 2013
I read this book over ten years ago and really enjoyed it. I hope re-reading it will be just as enjoyable.
June 17, 2013
Love this book. It was very interesting to see the views people had in the 17th century for
March 21, 2013
Very hard to get into and did not keep my attention, Unfortunatly not one of my favourites
October 31, 2012
Although this book is limited in action, it is rich in emotion and the imperfections of human nature; a great read.
October 08, 2012
Do not like it all
August 26, 2012
One of American Literature's finest. A must read for lovers of symbolism and irony.
August 11, 2012
Its hard to understand the book because its Old English. But, since i have to read the book for school under limited time...i found that its best to read the summary analysis of each chapter n sparknotes then read the actual chapter of the book so you arent cluless as you read. It is a great book though it teaches american histoy! You should read it.
May 28, 2012
Actually I thought it was an easily read,enjoyable book.Hester Pryne,who is single,is found to be carrying on an ongoing affair with a married clergyman,I believe.She is forced to sew a scarlet A on all her clothes so everyone will know HER sin.Incredibly she ends up living a happy life.Sure wasn't expecting that.Only complaint is he was doing the crime but she was made to pay.Totally sexist.But then,those were the times.Other than that great read.A favorite classic.Check it out of your library.Give it a shot.
April 18, 2012
This book looks like a good one to start reading...right now!!!!!!!!!!
April 17, 2012
This book is a little bit hard to understand since its old English, but the content of this book is actually good. It might takes you some time to understand it.
April 01, 2012
I like the book !!
March 30, 2012
Love the use of symbolism in this book! Especially note the use of light/blessing vs. darkness. A classic read.
March 20, 2012
I love this book
December 04, 2011
I really don't understand it ;(
November 26, 2011
Although a classic and perhaps consistent with the times, I found it to be ponderous,doling out pertinent bits of information while bombarding the reader with heavy-handed repetition of the idea of guilt. An excellent book to discuss and dissect, but somewhat sluggish to read. Rating reflects respect for Hawthorn rather than enjoyment of the book.
October 13, 2011
Reading it for our english class..... A lil bit too hard for me even tho it's my second time. Too many plots but otherwise, a good book
September 12, 2011
Excellent, well written story. If you seen the films, know that they barely scratch the surface of what's written.