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Several days later, Hester meets Dimmesdale in the forest and tells him of her husband and his desire for revenge. She convinces Dimmesdale to leave Boston in secret on a ship to Europe where they can start life anew. Renewed by this plan, the minister seems to gain new energy. On Election Day, Dimmesdale gives what is called one of his most inspired sermons. But as the procession leaves the church, Dimmesdale climbs upon the scaffold and confesses his sin, dying in Hester's arms.
Later, most witnesses swear that they saw a stigma in the form of a scarlet "A" upon his chest, although some deny this statement. Chillingworth, losing his will for revenge, dies shortly thereafter and leaves Pearl a substantial inheritance.
After several years, Hester returns to her cottage and resumes wearing the scarlet letter. When she dies, she is buried near the grave of Dimmesdale, and they share a simple slate tombstone engraved with an escutcheon described as: "On a field, sable , the letter A, gules " "A red letter A written on a black background". The major theme of The Scarlet Letter is shaming and social stigmatizing, both Hester's public humiliation and Dimmesdale's private shame and fear of exposure.
Notably, their liaison is never spoken of, so the circumstances that lead to Hester's pregnancy, and how their affair was kept secret never become part of the plot. This combination of "dreaminess" and realism gave the author space to explore major themes. The experience of Hester and Dimmesdale recalls the story of Adam and Eve because, in both cases, sin results in expulsion and suffering. But it also results in knowledge — specifically, in knowledge of what it means to be immoral. For Hester, the Scarlet Letter is a physical manifestation of her sin and reminder of her painful solitude.
She contemplates casting it off to obtain her freedom from an oppressive society and a checkered past as well as the absence of God. Because the society excludes her, she considers the possibility that many of the traditions upheld by the Puritan culture are untrue and are not designed to bring her happiness. As for Dimmesdale, the "cheating minister", his sin gives him "sympathies so intimate with the sinful brotherhood of mankind, so that his chest vibrate[s] in unison with theirs. The subtlety is that the minister's belief is his own cheating, convincing himself at every stage of his spiritual pilgrimage that he is saved.
The rose bush's beauty forms a striking contrast to all that surrounds it; as later the beautifully embroidered scarlet "A" will be held out in part as an invitation to find "some sweet moral blossom" in the ensuing, tragic tale and in part as an image that "the deep heart of nature" perhaps God may look more kindly on the errant Hester and her child than her Puritan neighbors do. Throughout the work, the nature images contrast with the stark darkness of the Puritans and their systems. Chillingworth's misshapen body reflects or symbolizes the anger in his soul, which builds as the novel progresses, similar to the way Dimmesdale's illness reveals his inner turmoil.
The outward man reflects the condition of the heart; an observation thought inspired by the deterioration of Edgar Allan Poe , whom Hawthorne "much admired".
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Another theme is the extreme legalism of the Puritans and how Hester chooses not to conform to their rules and beliefs. Hester was rejected by the villagers even though she spent her life doing what she could to help the sick and the poor. Because of the social shunning , she spent her life mostly in solitude and would not go to church.
As a result, she retreats into her own mind and her own thinking. Her thoughts begin to stretch and go beyond what would be considered by the Puritans as safe or even Christian. She still sees her sin, but begins to look on it differently than the villagers ever have. She begins to believe that a person's earthly sins do not necessarily condemn them. She even goes so far as to tell Dimmesdale that their sin has been paid for by their daily penance and that their sin will not keep them from getting to heaven, however, the Puritans believed that such a sin surely condemns.
But Hester had been alienated from the Puritan society, both in her physical life and spiritual life. When Dimmesdale dies, she knows she has to move on because she can no longer conform to the Puritans' strictness. Her thinking is free from religious bounds and she has established her own different moral standards and beliefs.
It was long thought that Hawthorne originally planned The Scarlet Letter to be a shorter novelette , part of a collection named Old Time Legends , and that his publisher, James Thomas Fields , convinced him to expand the work to a full-length novel. It was the last Salem home where the Hawthorne family lived. A 2,copy second edition included a preface by Hawthorne dated March 30, , that stated he had decided to reprint his Introduction "without the change of a word The only remarkable features of the sketch are its frank and genuine good-humor As to enmity, or ill-feeling of any kind, personal or political, he utterly disclaims such motives".
The Scarlet Letter was also one of the first mass-produced books in America.
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In the mid-nineteenth century, bookbinders of home-grown literature typically hand-made their books and sold them in small quantities. The first mechanized printing of The Scarlet Letter , 2, volumes, sold out within ten days,  and was widely read and discussed to an extent not much experienced in the young country up until that time. On its publication, critic Evert Augustus Duyckinck , a friend of Hawthorne's, said he preferred the author's Washington Irving -like tales. Another friend, critic Edwin Percy Whipple , objected to the novel's "morbid intensity" with dense psychological details, writing that the book "is therefore apt to become, like Hawthorne, too painfully anatomical in his exhibition of them".
On the other hand, 20th-century writer D. Lawrence said that there could not be a more perfect work of the American imagination than The Scarlet Letter. One can often return to it; it supports familiarity and has the inexhaustible charm and mystery of great works of art. The Scarlet Letter has inspired numerous film, television, and stage adaptations, and plot elements have influenced several novels, musical works, and screen productions. In March , Manga Classics Inc. Chan, art by Sunneko Lee. While the manga kept the traditional black and white artwork, it highlighted the scarlet 'A' in the text by colorizing only this image on pages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Scarlet Letter disambiguation. This article's lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. The Island of Doctor Moreau , by H. The question of whether or not we should do some of the things medical science is now capable of—or will shortly be capable of—will never be an easy one to answer.
Wilfred of Ivanhoe supports King Richard and is disinherited for his trouble, joining the king on the crusades. The story includes jousts, kidnappings, and plain old-fashioned adventure, and was thrillingly unlike anything that had come before it. While telling a love story about a complex proto-feminist character, the novel finds time to offer thoughtful critiques of what was then modern life—critiques that still ring true today.
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Lorna Doone , by R. This classic story set in 17th-century England tells the story of the Doones, a formerly aristocratic family that has devolved into a gang of impoverished criminals. John, a farmer whose father was murdered by the Doones, falls in love with a beautiful girl named Lorna only to discover she is the granddaughter of Sir Ensor Doone. Remarkably, Blackmore perfectly captures the lilt and rhythm of a regional dialect without it becoming distracting or comedic, giving this book a feeling of verisimilitude rarely matched.
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Redmond thinks a lot of himself, and is a very unreliable narrator always seeking to make himself look good, but Thackery skillfully reveals his failings as both a person and a social climber, making this a book that can be read several times, each reread revealing something new. Dickens combined a bracingly realistic look at criminal life with a satisfyingly happy ending in a book everyone should read at least once in their lives.
These themes still resonate, as do the episodes of impish pranks and adventures including the occasional dorm room explosion. The Time Machine , by H. Tess, a good young woman from a poor family, is raped, her sickly son dies weeks after birth, and her marriage with a stalwart young farmer is ruined by the stain to her reputation—and things only get worse from there.
Yet the story is animated by a deep level of empathy and contemplation that renders it not entirely bleak. Set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution, Dickens captures the frenetic spirit of the times in the unsteady adventures of his characters, resulting in one the most sprawling epic novels of all time. Vanity Fair , by William Makepeace Thackeray The story of fierce social climber Becky Sharp and her ascent—and rapid descent—in life as she schemes, steals, and seduces those who can assist her until an almost-too-late epiphany, is extremely well-done on the surface, entertaining and well-written.
Marian Halcombe and Walter Hartright are genuine amateurs, employing nothing more than their good sense and keen eye to slowly unravel a mystery involving switched identities and an enormous amount of money. Part romance, part ghost story, Wuthering Heights offers one of the best characters ever created in Heathcliff, a shifting character of uncertain parentage and legacy who is ultimately undone by his mad love for foster sister Catherine and taste for vengeance following her death.
A lighthearted story that begins when a power-mad empress orders all the flowers of the world to bloom the next day; when the flower spirits, fearing her, comply, the gods punish them by reincarnating them into the mortal bodies of young girls, whose adventures make up the rest of the surprisingly modern story. All of this is set against the backdrop of one of the most politically and militarily unsettled periods of European history—a moment when it seemed literally anything might happen, lending the story an urgency that still jumps off the page today.
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