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"Scarlett Letter" (Hawthorne) Reading Log. Essay

4170 words - 17 pages

CHAPTER 1- The Prison-Door-I found this one page introductory chapter to be very dramatic as it explained the historyof the colony by telling the history of the prison-door. From the looks of this chapter, this storywill probably be dragged out as much as possible.At first I thought the way Nathaniel Hawthorne approached the latter half of the lastparagraph was annoying, but when I read the chapter the second time, it appealed to me. Therelationship that Hawthorne is attempting to establish with the reader in this paragraph is veryinteresting. That pink highlighted section in my book convinced me that even though havingstudents read a book over a very short summer vacation is a bad, misguided idea, the bookyou're making us read isn't as bad.CHAPTER 2- The Market Place-This chapter tells of Hester Prynne being led through the city and in to the market placewith the finely stitched Scarlet Letter. She walks protecting her young child against her bosomas she is scorned by the crowd. Her punishment is quote "as effectual an agent, in thepromotion of good citizenship as ever was the guillotine among the terrorists of France," (Page52, pink highlight). Instead of using the pillory, which would lock a person's head and handstogether where they could not move and be forced to not be able to show their humiliation. "Nooutrage more flagrant to forbid the culprit to hide his face from shame," is in Hawthorne'scommentary on page 53.Hawthorne's commentary appears twice on this page (about more than one topic) andyou can see them in my highlighted sections. What really got to me was the second highlightedsection on that page where Hawthorne is comparing/contrasting the nurturing image of a motherand her son to Prynne. The passage speaks of Prynne's sin tainting the image, therefore thecrowd was lost for Prynne's beauty and the infant's innocence. I think the passage is beautiful inthat it made me think about how society plays a role in interpreting what is good and bad.CHAPTER 3- The Recognition-The recognition came when a mysterious wanderer met eyes with Prynne. Through thevagabond we find out why Hester Prynne has the Scarlet Letter. The passage that I really like inthis chapter is the dialog between the could-be-called "city council members" and Prynne. Myhighlighted parts are on page 63 and 64. On page 63, the reverend Mr. Dimmesdale tries toconvince her to give up the name of the man that tempted her by saying that it would be betterfor him, and that he wouldn't have to revel in his guilt for the rest of his life. He later said,temper raising, "Speak-- to take the Scarlet Letter off..." But Prynne replies that it is too deeplybranded to ever be removed. I think that this dialog shows her "wondrous strength," and anattitude worthy of the main character in such a riveting book.CHAPTER 4- The Interview-The mysterious wanderer "whose presence in the crowd (In chapter 3) had been of suchdeep interest to the wearer of the scarlet letter" was thrown into the...

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