- Paperback: 80 pages
- Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books; Adapted for Stage/Script Format edition (May 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1557832439
- ISBN-13: 978-1557832436
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.2 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,113,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (Stage Adaptation) Adapted for Stage/Script Format Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Hester Prynne would not give the name of her accomplice and said her baby, Pearl, would never know an earthly father but will seek a heavenly one. Soon after, Hester is encountered by a man who introduced himself as Roger Chillingworth; he then tells Hester a secret she must not share with anyone and she agrees. Roger Chillingworth's secret is his true identity - Hester's husband. So he vows to take revenge upon the man who laid hands upon his wife and gave her a child.
But through her punishment, Hester's character develops throughout the book although she is isolated by society. "Man had marked this woman's sin by a scarlet letter, which has such potent and disastrous efficacy that no human sympathy could reach her, save it were sinful like herself. God, as a direct consequence of the sin which man thus punished, had given her a lovely child, whose place was on the same dishonored bosom, to connect her parent for ever with the race and descent of mortals, and to be finally a blessed soul in heaven!" (Chapter 6; pg. 82) This passage portrays one of many cases of irony in this book - the same act tarnished her reputation forever at the same time as giving her her most treasured possession. Pearl is a main focus of irony in The Scarlet Letter as well as a main character: "She resembled, in her fierce pursuit of them, an infant pestilence,--the scarlet fever, or some such half-fledged angel of judgment,--whose mission was to punish the sins of the rising generation."(Chapter 7; pg. 94) Pearl has a wild and fiery side - she feels the need to protect herself and her mother against the people of Boston. When children cause trouble to her and her mother, Pearl "punishes" them for it. What is ironic is that Pearl punishes the rising generation (children her age) for their sins while Hester's generation is punishing Hester. To add on to the irony, Pearl is the reason for Hester's punishment.
As mention earlier, Hester's character grows throughout the book through her punishment. Hester even states that Pearl is the living scarlet letter; although Pearl is her child, she still gets punished from Pearl. Hester told the Governor, "She is my happiness!--she is my torture, none the less! Pearl keeps me here in life! Pearl punishes me too! See ye not, she is the scarlet letter, only capable of being loved, and so endowed with a million-fold the power of retribution for my sin? Ye shall not take her! I will die first!'" (Chapter 8; pg. 103-104) This passage reveals the deepest of Hester's thoughts of Pearl in the book - it portrays the relationship the two share. It reveals the love Hester has for Pearl as well as the thoughts of Pearl: although a blessing from God, she is constantly reminded by her sins from Pearl.
The Scarlet Letter is a wonderful book filled with irony, symbolism, character, conflict and so much more. The life of retribution and sins it incorporates a criticism of Puritan values while slightly justifying it. This tale is filled with many opposites - hate and love, secrecy and exposed secrets, light and dark, evil and good - which makes the plot more exciting, interesting, and valuable to me as a reader and as a human.