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Friday, 21 August 2015

Book Review: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Pardon me if my reviews seem to be on the shorter end lately. As we are already towards the end of August,  my commence toward the book challenge is at snails pace and I REALLY need to get on it.

Pages :  268

Read on : Paperback

Review: This book is not for everyone. In fact it's not for most people unless you are a literature major or something along those lines. The story follows the humiliation and sufferings of Hester Prynne in the 17th Century. Yup, it's pretty dated. Well-known in the literary world as a stand-out for it's strong outlook on the puritan society and a fair glimpse about what would happen to a woman, if she committed the most heinous crime ever, adultery.  
For a feminist, it's a piece of work that can't be dismissed. Hester Prynne is dis-owned by her towns folk and is branded with a scarlet letter 'A' embroidered on her chest, she's with child and refuses to name the man who she had relations with.  
Despite being a good natured and pious woman, the moment of weakness where she did indulge begins to define her life and starts affecting her child quite adversely. Innocent questions are being asked where Hester has no proper answer to and the townsmen are quick to point fingers at her.  
It took me a good while before I could get past the language. I haven't had much experience in grasping old english other than a few lessons in school and a failed attempt at reading Huckleberry Fin. You'll probably end up needing some references from SparkNotes or other reviewers who are more seasoned than I am. However, the honour element and will to carry out the punishment for as long as she could is commendable. The story did drag on for a good while, it also helped reflect on the burden of having the scarlet letter etched on her bosom. Her 'crime' was unforgivable even though several years had passed by. 

The main reason as to why people read The Scarlet Letter is to understand how progressive it was for something written in 1850. i'm not going to lie, the sole purpose for me to read the book was for that very reason. I didn't enjoy it as my other literary adventures but it was something that needed to be done. I did get bored in a lot of the parts and I guess that would be the reason why Hester's punishment felt endless. 

Not something I would recommend to anyone. I honestly read it just for educational purposes.

Final Rating : 3/5

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