A summary of the novel 'The Scarlet Letter' written by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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This document is a summary of the novel 'The Scarlet Letter' written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the mid-Nineteenth century, however

it is regarded by many as a classic today. The Scarlet Letter is a tale of human tragedy, which attempts to convey a moral. It was well researched and apparently portrays the era of Puritanism accurately. In fact, the setting for the story is described in great detail in the first chapter. This book is preceded by a long essay entitled 'The Custom House' which describes in excruciating detail him finding foolscap sheets and a scarlet letter 'A' which gave him the idea to write the novel. There is very little linking in this long, drawn out essay that has anything to do with the rest of this book. The backbone of the Scarlet Letter is its main characters.

The Characters

The main character of this book, Hester Prynne, was supposedly the heroine of the story.

It was her who at the beginning of the book was found guilty of having a child by someone who is not her husband. She is forced to go to prison, and wear a scarlet 'A' on her clothing for the rest of her life, so that she may be judged wherever she goes. It's

obvious that the author wanted to portray Hester as somewhat of a victim, which is partially the case.

Arthur Dimmesdale was the pastor at the church that Hester attended

as well as the father of her child. Until much later in his life, he convinced Hester to not name him as the father of her child. In typical

fashion, his justification for this is that he feels that it will look bad for his church if his personal misdeeds became public knowledge. He becomes physically ill...