The Scarlet Letter

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics
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"'Thou and thine, Hester Prynne, belong to me.' With these chilling words a husband claims his wife after a two-year absence. But the child she clutches is not his, and Hester must wear a scarlet 'A' upon her breast, the sin of adultery visible to all. Under an assumed name her husband begins his search for her lover, determined to expose what Hester is equally determined to protect. Defiant and proud, Hester witnesses the degradation of two very different men, as moral codes and legal imperatives painfully collide." "Set in the Puritan community of seventeenth-century Boston, The Scarlet Letter also sheds light on the nineteenth century in which it was written, as Hawthorne explores his ambivalent relations with his Puritan forebears. The text of this edition is taken from the Centenary Edition of Hawthorne's works, the most authoritative critical edition."--BOOK JACKET.

Author Biography

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1865) was born in Salem, Massachusetts, where he wrote short stories of American colonial history.

Nina Baym is the director of the School of Humanities and professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
Chronology of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Life and Workp. xix
Historical Context of The Scarlet Letterp. xxiii
Author's Preface to the Second Editionp. 3
The Custom House.--Introductoryp. 5
The Prison-Doorp. 55
The Market-Placep. 57
The Recognitionp. 69
The Interviewp. 81
Hester at Her Needlep. 91
Pearlp. 103
The Governor's Hallp. 117
The Elf-Child and the Ministerp. 127
The Leechp. 139
The Leech and His Patientp. 153
The Interior of a Heartp. 165
The Minister's Vigilp. 175
Another View of Hesterp. 189
Hester and the Physicianp. 201
Hester and Pearlp. 209
A Forest Walkp. 219
The Pastor and His Parishionerp. 227
A Flood of Sunshinep. 239
The Child at the Brook-Sidep. 247
The Minister in a Mazep. 257
The New England Holidayp. 271
The Processionp. 283
The Revelation of the Scarlet Letterp. 297
Conclusionp. 309
Nathaniel Hawthorne on The Scarlet Letterp. 317
Notesp. 327
Interpretive Notesp. 343
Critical Excerptsp. 353
Questions for Discussionp. 369
Suggestions for the Interested Readerp. 371
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