Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Scarlet Letter

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

(Finished reading last weekend)

It's amazing how an author who can write the story so interestingly, is also capable of writing such a boring introduction, which is basically his own life story. Shouldn't that be even more interesting than the fiction? Anyway, I barely made it through the 45 page intro, and couldn't really appreciate everything that was told in it, but I do remember one part that has some connection to the actual story. I later regretted not reading the intro more carefully and intently.
Anyway, as I said, the story itself is readable and interesting, though there are a few points that I find missing, and their absence makes the story less credible.
Mostly, the story fails to tell us what led the heroine to her current situation -- i.e., the bearing of the scarlet letter. How did she get pregnant? I guess one could imagine the guy involved would be some careless, rash, young man who didn't stop to think about the consequences, and poor Hester was so madly in love with him she just couldn't help herself. However, it turns out that, not only is Hester a very considerate, thoughtful, and generous woman, she is also very responsible. And the man [**SPOILER ALERT**] is no other than the most pious, wise, and conscientious person around. So how could it have happened? I have no idea. Just doesn't make sense.

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