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Enriched Classics offer readers accessible editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and commentary. Each book includes educational tools alongside the text, enabling students and readers alike to gain a deeper and more developed understanding of the writer and their work.

Set two centuries before Hawthorne’s own time, The Scarlet Letter follows heroine Hester Prynne who is compelled by her Puritan society to wear a scarlet letter ‘A’ on her clothes as a symbol of her sin: adultery. Accompanied by colorful and flawed characters, including the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale who broods over a long-hidden secret, and Hester’s husband Roger Chillingsworth who thirsts for vengeance, The Scarlet Letter, America’s first psychological novel, is a masterpiece that explores humanity’s unending struggles with pride, sin, and guilt.

Enriched Classics enhance your engagement by introducing and explaining the historical and cultural significance of the work, the author’s personal history, and what impact this book had on subsequent scholarship. Each book includes discussion questions that help clarify and reinforce major themes and reading recommendations for further research.

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Published: Pocket Books on May 1, 2004
ISBN: 9781416503057
List price: $4.99
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One of the most moving books I've read. Hester is carrying a child. Hester is not married and won't reveal the name of the father. In a time ruled by severe church authorities, this is not to be tolerated. The courage of Hester, her dignity, make her heroic to me. The father of the child is despicably weak, unable to own up to his sin and willing that she should be the one to suffer. A good example to show that if Christ is not ruling the heart it does no good for a person to have the appearance of godliness.read more
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It's possible that I don't know as much about literature as I thought I did. Everyone else seems to think that this is a classic of world literature, whereas I just think it's very old, and pretty dull.Hester Prynn is marked by a scarlet letter emblazoned on her chest - though not burnt onto her skin, as I had expected. That would only happen in a Musketeers novel, I suppose. She has committed adultery, and the token she has to wear weighs heavily on her soul. Afterall, this is Puritan America, and adultery is a sin that could have cost her her life.I won't spoil the surprise by telling you who she had had an affair with, but reading the story, I couldn't shake the feeling that the plot was a little weak, that, given the actual circumstances that arise in the course of the novel, something better could have been worked out.However, Hester's daughter, Pearl, is a revelation. Had there been more of this impish little girl, I would have read the book more quickly, and enjoyed it more. Still, it's a classic, and it's another addition to my list of the classics that I've read.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Passionate in pain- passionate in love; this is a story of people's reactions to mistakes not only regarding themselves but from the scornful, isolating behaviors of others.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

One of the most moving books I've read. Hester is carrying a child. Hester is not married and won't reveal the name of the father. In a time ruled by severe church authorities, this is not to be tolerated. The courage of Hester, her dignity, make her heroic to me. The father of the child is despicably weak, unable to own up to his sin and willing that she should be the one to suffer. A good example to show that if Christ is not ruling the heart it does no good for a person to have the appearance of godliness.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It's possible that I don't know as much about literature as I thought I did. Everyone else seems to think that this is a classic of world literature, whereas I just think it's very old, and pretty dull.Hester Prynn is marked by a scarlet letter emblazoned on her chest - though not burnt onto her skin, as I had expected. That would only happen in a Musketeers novel, I suppose. She has committed adultery, and the token she has to wear weighs heavily on her soul. Afterall, this is Puritan America, and adultery is a sin that could have cost her her life.I won't spoil the surprise by telling you who she had had an affair with, but reading the story, I couldn't shake the feeling that the plot was a little weak, that, given the actual circumstances that arise in the course of the novel, something better could have been worked out.However, Hester's daughter, Pearl, is a revelation. Had there been more of this impish little girl, I would have read the book more quickly, and enjoyed it more. Still, it's a classic, and it's another addition to my list of the classics that I've read.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Passionate in pain- passionate in love; this is a story of people's reactions to mistakes not only regarding themselves but from the scornful, isolating behaviors of others.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I read some of Nathaniel Hawthorne's works at University, and I always wanted to read 'The Scarlet Letter'. Published in 1850, I was eager to discover why this is such an American Classic. I found it to be a very rich and rewarding piece of writing, and an amazing glimpse into the daily lives of the Puritans living in Boston in the seventeenth century.Hawthorne manages to paint the characters in such a light that the reader can see into their very souls, and I can't remember ever having such character insight before.Hawthorne was also quite a visionary in terms of recognising the inequalities women faced in society at the time. The main character Hester Prynne was a sinner and therefore couldn't bring herself to be the Prophetess to bring about the change.I enjoyed the language, with treats along the way such as: "His gourmandism was a highly agreeable trait". Ultimately I enjoyed this American Classic and would recommend it to anyone not afraid of tackling a level of rich and complex writing.
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The dense language and the inital slow pace eventually pay off--it's worth it. I'm glad I finally read it, but I'll tell you what: I'll think twice before teaching it again!
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The Scarlet Letter is a classic novel for use in the high school classroom. Dealing primarily with the symbolic letter "A" worn by Hester Prynne, this novel takes the guilt of a pastor who fathered a bastard child and couples in with the shunned Prynne and the need for revenge by Hester's husband. A swirling of social norms occurs, especially at the novel's end, and provides commentary on social systems, punishment, and early American settlements. For use in an English classroom, this novel is particularly powerful in regard to symbolism (obviously due to the letter itself), but also through Pearl (Hester's daughter) and Dimmesdale (Hester's lover). The Scarlet Letter is a mainstay among high school classrooms, and given its powerful social commentary and symbolic value, I highly recommend it to teachers.
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