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    #1

    Can someone please check my book report?IT'S VERY IMPORTANT!

    Title: The Scarlet Letter
    Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
    Publication Information: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1850. , 394 pages
    Genre: historical fiction; romance

    · Some information about author: Born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1804, Nathaniel Hathorne was the only son of Captain Nathaniel Hathorne and Elizabeth Clarke Manning Hathorne. (Hawthorne added the "w" to his name after he graduated from college.) With the aid of his wealthy uncles, young Hawthorne attended Bowdoin College from 1821 to 1825. Soon, he met Sophia Pobodey. They got married and had 3 children. They first lived in Salem but Hawthorne never felt comfortable living there because of the town’s Puritan trappings. They moved to Massachusetts where he formed a close friendship with Moby Dick author Herman Melville. During this time, Hawthorne enjoyed his most productive period as a writer publishing The House of the Seven Gables, Blithedale Romance and Tanglewood Tales. He died in his sleep on May 19, 1864, at Plymouth New Hampshire.

    · The Scarlet Letter is a novel that speaks about a woman in a middle of the seventeenth century. The place where it all happens is the puritan community of Boston. To understand this novel we must understand who the Puritans were and what were the ideas that they were trying to blend in a normal everyday life of not just Boston but in every town in which they were. The Puritans were a group of religious reformers who arrived in Massachusetts in the 1630s under the leadership of John Winthrop. The puritans were uncharitable, unforgiving and were known for their intolerance for any idea or every act that is in conflict with their own ideas. Adultery was the biggest sin a person could do and public discipline and punishments were used to prevent others from committing the same sin or other crimes. The mistake that the main character of this book, Hester, did is the fact that she slept with another man and got pregnant. We can see that this sin was so bad that they wanted to kill her publicly but in the end they decided that she will stand for hours in front of other people with little Pearl in her hands and that she will need to wear a big letter A on her chest. The letter A was a first letter of a word adulteress and it was there to symbolize the sin that she has made in the past. The novel speaks about relationships, religion, community, discipline and punishment in the puritan community. It also speaks about a destructive power of guilt and how sometimes keeping something inside hurts more than letting it out and dealing with consequences. The narrator of the story is omniscient. In other words…he knows everything, he even knows more about the characters than they know about themselves. He, and by him I do not mean necessarily Hawthorne himself (although a lot of his ideas as a person who does not follow puritans ideas were incorporated in the story), shapes the story in the way he wants it and not in the way that things were meant to be considering where and when it all happened. For example, the Puritan community sees Hester as fallen (disgraced) women, Dimmesdale as some kind of a saint and would probably see Chillingworth as men that is betrayed by his wife and therefore a victim. On the other hand narrator sees Hester as a proud woman with feelings and heart and although she made a sin she is not evil and still worships God, he sees Dimmesdale as a weak person who is unable to confess his sins to people of the town… to people who think that he truly is saint, the narrator sees Chillingworth as some sort of a devil...a person who is here to destroy someone’s soul and he feeds with Dimmesdale inner pain. He is not seen as a victim but as an aggressor who will do anything to prevent any possibilities of two people (Hester and Dimmesdale who are in love) to reconnect.

    · I’ve already described main characters but it was done poorly so in the next sentences I shall describe them even more and by describing them I will also explain the story using more scenes and details. Hester Prynne –She is the protagonist of the story. While Hawthorne does not give a great deal of information about her life before the book opens, he does show her remarkable character, revealed through her public humiliation and isolated life in Puritan society. Hester is physically described in the first scaffold scene as a tall young woman with a "figure of perfect elegance on a large scale." Her most impressive feature is her dark and abundant hair. Her eyes are dark and deep, and her regular features give her a beautiful face. After she got the letter A her beauty is being hidden. Her beautiful hair is hidden under her cap, her beauty and warmth are gone...but that does not last forever. In chapter 13(when she’s in forest with Dimmesdale) she takes of her cap and a burden in a form of a letter A and she is again shining and her beauty is again overwhelming. Hester Prynne is a strong character. A lot of woman would break under the pressure that brings the letter A, but Hester didn’t. She was punished because of adultery. To understand why she did it, we must understand that she thought that her husband was dead. In the past, she was married to much older Roger Chillingworth. When they left Amsterdam for the New World, he sent her ahead, but he was reportedly lost at sea which meant that she was a widow. While not a Puritan herself, Hester looked to Arthur Dimmesdale for comfort and spiritual guidance. That’s how they met and that’s how Pearl was conceived. Standing on a scaffold she did not admit who was the father of Pearl although that meant her punishment would be less painful. Knowing that she kept a father’s name a secret and keeping Chillingworth identity also a secret makes her a trustworthy person. Although Puritan community was punishing her in the name of God...she did not develop any hatred towards God. She still worshiped him and she prayed with her daughter Pearl. Arthur Dimmesdale - He is young, pale, and physically delicate. He is well educated. There is no doubt that he is devoted to God and passionate in his religion. Of the three major characters in this novel, Dimmesdale is the only Puritan. He was very weak. Both physically and mentally. He knew that by confessing his sin, Hester wouldn’t be judge so much…still, he decided not to do it. Extreme power of sin held in his mind made a damage. He was very weak and Chillingworth only prolonged his suffers until he and Hester met one day in a forest (13 chapter). Once they talked he found strength again and in that moment he decided that he shall tell the truth. Once he finally explained everything to the people of Boston he died but he died happy knowing that the truth has been spoken. Roger Chillingworth - He was an evil man. He was much older than his wife Hester. While he develops from a kind scholar into an obsessed fiend, he is less of a character and more of a symbol doing the devil's bidding. Once he comes to Boston, we see him only in situations that involve his obsession with vengeance, where we learn a lot about him. Chillingworth is not a Puritan. While he was a captive of the Indians for "upward of a year," he did not judge them, and, unlike the Puritans, he did not seek to convert them. Instead he studied their knowledge of herbs and medicines to learn. This study of herbs and medicines later links his work to the "black medicine" and helps him keep his victim (Dimmesdale) alive. His love of learning and intellectual pursuit attracted Dimmesdale. In the New World, men of learning were rare. He moved into Dimmesdale house and started his evil plan of revenge. His obsession with revenge is what makes him — in Hawthorne's eyes — the worst sinner. When Dimmesdale surprises the physician and climbs the scaffold to confess, Chillingworth knows the minister is about to escape him. Ones Dimmesdale confessed Chillingworth dies knowing that without torturing Dimmesdale , his life has no meaning. He left all of his fortune to Pearl, making her a rich person.
    · Climax: There are two points in The Scarlet Letter that could be identified as the book’s “climax.” The first is in Chapter 12, at the exact center of the book. As Dimmesdale watches a meteor that is forming letter “A” in the sky, he confronts his role in Hester’s sin and realizes that he can no longer deny his sin and its consequences. The other climactic scene occurs in Chapter 23, at the end of the book. Here, the characters’ secrets are publicly exposed and because of relief Dimmesdale dies and Chillingworth also dies, basically everything is again changed.
    · Tone of the story varies. In one chapter, tone is thoughtful..like narrator is compassionate and than in other chapter narrator is mocking and showing all illogical things in puritan community.

    · Writer is writing in a past tense because he is writing story that happened (200 years) before him, but he is occasionally using the present tense when he’s addressing his audience.

    · Interesting symbol in story is a wild rosebush that is next to prison. I think that rose is a symbol of hope to all who leave or enter the prison, a place which represents sin. It is as if Nature wants to offer at least a glimmer of hope to all who feel hopeless and condemned.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Can someone please check my book report?IT'S VERY IMPORTANT!

    Welcome to the forum, Ana. We like to help when we can, but we don't help with homework assignments. Your teacher wants to know how you can write, not how we can.
    Last edited by Piscean; 24-Apr-2016 at 21:18. Reason: Typo corrected. Thanks, charlie.

  3. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Can someone please check my book report?IT'S VERY IMPORTANT!

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    but we don't help with homwork assignments.
    Now I'm finally hom (!) and checking the Forum!
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  4. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Can someone please check my book report?IT'S VERY IMPORTANT!

    One thing only: if I were you, I would remove the links to "Puritans" and "John Winthrop" (and any others I may have overlooked), for two reasons: first, if the report is to be presented printed on paper, it will look as if you just copied/pasted the text from elsewhere. Second, if it is to be submitted via e-mail, for instance, I'm not sure that your teacher will be happy to find out that both links lead to Wikipedia; there's a good chance you could have found at least two different sources for additional information if you had looked for them.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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