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The Scarlet Letter (1 Viewer)


Did anyone else hate this novel with a passion?

The beginning scaffold scene with Hester holding Pearl and Dimmesdale giving that horrible speech completely turned me off from the start. There was good character development and all, but the plot was just horrible IMO.

I have a great appreciation for description, figurative language, symbolism etc., but there needs to be some suspense and somewhat of an interesting plot as well, and I just didn't find that.

The plot was so painfully boring, obvious and overdeveloped. Okay, so there was heavy symbolism and a sweet little moral, but it is definitely not worth suffering through this entire thing. There was a lot of very obvious and plain symbolism, and then a thousand other symbols that really weren't that deep and didn't seem to mean much (beyond the literal meaning... but my English teacher insists that they are symbolic).

Maybe I just can't get past my strong opposition to the views of the Puratin society, but whatever. Bottom line, I hated this book.


Senior Member
I love "The Scarlet Letter". It's been ages since I last read it, but I remember finding the characters fascinating. It's definitely more a character-driven book then plot-driven. But then, I enjoy that sort of thing. I do think that the book itself is an acquired taste.

"The House of Seven Gables" is usually considered to be the most reader-friendly of Hawthorne's works. It's definitely more plot-driven than "The Scarlet Letter." I also really enjoyed "The Blithedale Romance," but I have a suspicion that might be an acquired taste, too. My whole American Romanticism class loved it, but then, we're all graduate students in English.
I'm actually reading this one right now...slowly. It's not that I don't like it however. Really I appreciate a book with a heavy dose of reality. One where the hero/heroin is just a total screw up and things just completely such because it's real. Sometimes books can be far to fluffy and people like them purely because they are that way. Not that I'm against fluff mind you, in small doses.