Essay, Research Paper: Scarlet Letter Evaluation

Literature: Nathaniel Hawthorne

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From unwed motherhood to sex and adultery, many of the moral issues and stigmas
of Puritan society are still being dealt with today. In The Scarlet Letter,
Hester Prynne is forced to wear a large, red "A" on her chest when she
is found guilty of adultery and refuses to name the father of her illegitimate
child. This book explores the conflicts between private truth and public
appearances, and the choice between sin and salvation. Nathaniel Hawthorne's The
Scarlet Letter is as pertinent today as it was in the nineteenth century.
Hawthorne shows us a person who is ostracized by her community, and yet still
able to contribute to it. Hester Prynne is a remarkable person who can overcome
any obstacle in her path, including the fact that she committed a horrendous
iniquity against her tightly knit village. Hester is symbol of hope and
determination that should be looked upon as a role model in today’s modern
society. The fact that Hester can triumph over her discriminating society shows
the reader that in even the most tragic situation determination will prevail.
This classic should be read by anyone studying American literature or those who
simply wish to catch a glimpse of our country’s past. The complexity of this
book will challenge even the most advanced readers, and leave those who can
actually understand Hawthorne’s elaborate style of writing with a feeling as
if they had just traveled back in time.
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