Across the horizon: the rising sun and endless possibilities
 
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

Home - Studyworld Studynotes - Quotes - Reports & Essays 

 

STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES:

CLASSIC LITERATURE ANALYSIS

STUDYWORLD REPORTS & ESSAYS

RESEARCH AND IDEA DATABASE




Oakwood Publishing Company:

SAT; ACT; GRE

Study Material


xx

 



Home:
:
 

 

amazon.gif (2962 bytes)


studyhead.gif (11688 bytes)

 

 

_________________________The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

The Scarlet Letter

 

Background Information on The Scarlet Letter


The Scarlet Letter, is one of the first and finest "psychological gothics." The book contains very little dramatic action and mainly deals with the narrator's descriptions of his characters' thoughts, feelings and relationships. This narrator also breaks other literary ground by not slipping into the background and letting the storyline flow. He constantly interrupts the plot, speculates on motives, offers his opinions, and suggests alternative views. Sometimes he even takes part in the interactions, as when, in the first chapter, he plucks a rose from a bush outside the town prison and offers it to you, the reader. Furthermore, he claims to be guiding the story through its many macabre twists based on various sources (manuscripts, gossip, rumors and legends) that may or may not be reliable. The reader is often left to choose one or another version of the tale, or to reject them all.

Hester Prynne is one of the great heroines of literature. Though Hawthorne never condones her crime, he is, as described in Harry Levin's introduction, "concerned to show that fundamental morality is not so much a series of rigorous laws to be enforced by a meddling community as it is an insight to be attained through continuous exertion on the part of the individual conscience."

An ambiguous blend of sin and virtue, pride and humility, severity and gentleness, justice and mercy, the novel's true message may lie in what Hawthorne describes as its true genre: The Scarlet Letter, says its author, is not so much a novel as a romance," filled with details that disclose the "truth of the human heart."

 


  • Biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • About the Novel
  • Quick/Fast Review

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of The Custom House

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 1-4

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 5-8

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 9-12

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 13-16

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 17-20

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 21-24

  • Character List

  • Studyworld Essay Search on The Scarlet Letter

     

  •  



    Teacher Ratings: See what

    others think

    of your teachers



    Copy Right