Today's lesson is about the letter 'A'...


Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" has been an interesting and boring read so far in the same instance. Don't get me wrong, I love word play and vivid descriptions, but they loved to overdo things in the 17th century. Some of these chapters, in my humble opinion, could be reduced to paragraphs, as that is how I am outlining them. Read a paragraph, make a note translating it into one sentence....then move on.

Within the first six chapter reading assignment, I have come to see there is a play on descriptive color Hawthorne uses. From the "scarlet" letter to Pearl's "black" eyes, Hawthorne paints more than a vivid imagery regarding color in this story.

At first I was confused by the entrance of the stranger with the Indian fellow, but in Chapter 3 it becomes an "Aha!" moment when we realize the identity of Richard Chillingsworth. Poor man, he seems to play his role well considering what Hester has put him though. But he never seems to anger, become abusive, or verbally deride Hester. He just takes it in, sucks it up, and for my assumptions, plots in his head.

And Pearl! Isn't she a handful from the time she can barely wallk! Perhaps it is Hester's own indescretion and her conscience that allows her to see things in a peculiar way that she would not have before were she not "the bearer of bad letters." Hell of a way to start teaching your child the alphabet!

i can't wait to read and comment further.


I agree, Michael. Having read the novel in my junior year of high school for the first time, I was completely confounded by the actions of specific characters, Pearl and Roger Chillingworth in particular. If you take a deeper look at their actions, though, you get the full picture of who they are - Pearl, an incredibly mysterious and unique child, and Roger, a selfish jerk who is set on one thing and one thing only - revenge for his supposed wrongdoing.

Those are excellent points, my problem with Chillingworth is that he seeks revenge on the man that was with his wife but not his wife whom he married under false pretenses. And he in his mind he has done no wrong. Chillingworth's needs to look in the mirror for the results of his present that come from what he did in the past.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael McCullough published on September 7, 2010 7:44 PM.

Evil versus Good: Have a Little Faith was the previous entry in this blog.

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