The Scarlet Letter

Essay by calof_86High School, 10th gradeA+, February 2004

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This semester we were assigned to read a historical fiction book of our choice, after much deliberation I chose The Scarlet Letter. At first I was apprehensive at the quality of this novel and in my opinion I was right. However this book review is not a matter of opinion. Its purpose is to tell a little about the story in order to let the readers form their own opinion.

It all starts in Boston when Hester Prynne, a beautiful young woman was accused of adultery. For punishment she was forced to wear a scarlet letter "A" on her bosom for the rest of her life. After that she and her child moved to the outskirts of Boston into an abandoned shack. To support her and her infant, Pearl, she took up needlework, which was in great demand at the time. She embroidered for everything from governor's gloves to minister's collars.

Pearl, the pride and joy of her mother's life, not only is her mother's only treasure but the constant reminder of sin to the minister Arthur Dimmsdale whom Hester committed her sin with. As Pearl ages her physical likeliness of him becomes more apparent. For no one else but the two and God know who Hester committed her sin with. Roger Chillingsworth, who was Hester's former husband, then shows up on Dimmsdale's porch one day as a physician to aid in Dimmsdale's rapidly deteriorating health due to his sin. After seven years of agony Reverend Dimmsdale makes up his mind to confess his sin and bear the same fate as Hester. At his Election Sermon, which is to be his last, Arthur reveals a scarlet letter upon his bosom burned into his flesh. Soon after his Election Sermon Arthur Dimmsdale dies. About six months after that Roger Chillingsworth passes on as well leaving a large amount of land for Pearl in his will. Soon after, Hester and little Pearl left all behind and moved away to Europe. Years later, Hester Prynne, now alone since her daughter married, returned to her little shack outside of Boston only to bear up her shame once more.