Sunday, June 24, 2012

Meeting Hester Prynne

The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Chapter 1 - The Prison Door
Ironically, the Puritan area of Cornhill in the new colony of Boston comprises a cemetery and a prison in its utopia of morality and goodness.  The prison door was unsightly, but before it survives a rosebush that promises to reveal a moral lesson for the reader or provide reprieve for the end of a gloomy story about the human condition. 

Chapter 2 – The Market Place
A beautiful woman, Hester Prynne, emerges from the prison door, with a baby in her arms and an intricately woven scarlet letter “A” attached with gold thread to the front of her gown, and is led to the public market place where she will stand upon a scaffold in shame for the sin she has committed: adultery.  The righteous women of the town scorn her loudly and the children taunt her, and though she seems to bare her punishment proudly, she reconsiders her life from childhood to where she stands presently.


  1. I guess A Scarlet Letter must be a bildungsroman? (I haven't read it)

  2. I had to look that word up. I first read SL in fourth or fifth grade, and I do not remember if the author returns to her younger life. It is possible b/c I think she married young to a man she did not love, and he never returned to America, or something like that. I don't know, so I shall find out soon enough.