American culture has changed drastically since Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote his bestselling historical romance The Scarlet Letter in 1850. Yet its themes of sin, guilt, and 17th-century Puritan legalism are still relevant today. The main character Hester Prynne commits the sin of adultery. When she finds herself pregnant, Hester refuses to name her lover. Her punishment? She is ordered to wear a scarlet "A" sewn to the front of her dress. The novel, while written over a century ago, contains all the elements of a modern romance: a forbidden affair, a child born out of wedlock, a woman who will not reveal the identity of the child's father, a man who suffers intense guilt over his cowardice, a vengeful husband, and a town without pity.This annotated American Classics edition contains student helps, including: -Main Character List-Author Biography-Study Questions-History in the Making-1850-Summary
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was an American writer whose work was aligned with the Romantic movement. Much of his output, primarily set in New England, was based on his anti-puritan views. He is a highly regarded writer of short stories, yet his best-known works are his novels, including The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of Seven Gables (1851), and The Marble Faun (1860). Much of his work features complex and strong female characters and offers deep psychological insights into human morality and social constraints.