"Scarlett Letter" (Hawthorne) reading log.

Essay by Brandon MoellerCollege, Undergraduate September 1996

download word file, 17 pages 1.8

CHAPTER 1- The Prison-Door-

I found this one page introductory chapter to be very dramatic as it explained the history

of the colony by telling the history of the prison-door. From the looks of this chapter, this story

will probably be dragged out as much as possible.

At first I thought the way Nathaniel Hawthorne approached the latter half of the last

paragraph was annoying, but when I read the chapter the second time, it appealed to me. The

relationship that Hawthorne is attempting to establish with the reader in this paragraph is very

interesting. That pink highlighted section in my book convinced me that even though having

students read a book over a very short summer vacation is a bad, misguided idea, the book

you're making us read isn't as bad.

CHAPTER 2- The Market Place-

This chapter tells of Hester Prynne being led through the city and in to the market place

with the finely stitched Scarlet Letter. She walks protecting her young child against her bosom

as she is scorned by the crowd. Her punishment is quote "as effectual an agent, in the

promotion of good citizenship as ever was the guillotine among the terrorists of France," (Page

52, pink highlight). Instead of using the pillory, which would lock a person's head and hands

together where they could not move and be forced to not be able to show their humiliation. "No

outrage more flagrant to forbid the culprit to hide his face from shame," is in Hawthorne's

commentary on page 53.

Hawthorne's commentary appears twice on this page (about more than one topic) and

you can see them in my highlighted sections. What really got to me was the second highlighted

section on that page where Hawthorne is comparing/contrasting the nurturing image of a mother...