Saturday, 3 March 2018

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne | Book Review

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
(on Goodreads)
My rating ★★★☆☆

I finished listening to this audiobook a month ago but couldn't gather my thoughts to write a review until now. I'm not sure what to write about. Except for a general opinion, because I feel like I've slept through half of the narration. I don't know if it's because of the style of the book or was it something about the recording I was listening to.

I think everybody knows the plot of this book. Hester Prynne has a child out of wedlock and has to wear a scarlet letter A on her chest which stands for "adultery". And so she lives her life, shunned by the society. I remember hearing somewhere that Hester is supposed to struggle with the stigma and die at the end, and that her daughter is persecuted after her death or something sad like that happens. But I don't remember any of that in the actual audiobook that I listened to, and a quick glance at SparkNotes also tells me that that's not how the book ends.

I got an impression that Hester's punishment wasn't as severe, and that townspeople grew to respect her in some ways, despite the fact that she did something sinful and very shameful. She was skilled in embroidery and also did a lot of charity work. And she took good care of her daughter.

There aren't that many events described in the book, even though the story goes on for many years. Pearls character seemed too adult for her age. At times I felt as if she's just used to deliver clever metaphors. The language of the book is very figurative. There's quite a lot of symbolism. I guess that's why this novel is taught in schools.

To sum up my review, it was okay. I loved some metaphors. But maybe I'll have to re-read it sometime in the future to get a better grasp on this story.

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