Hester Prynne is a strong stubborn adulterous wife in a Puritan society, who's character I quickly fell in love with. After spending her pregnancy, plus some, in prison, she's forced to walk through the town, cradling her baby girl, and to stand on a high scaffold in silence. The town's people watch on in disgust, many wishing her dead. At this most inopportune moment, her long-lost unloving husband wanders back into town. Coldly he calculates his revenge as he stands with the rest of the crowd. Everyone urges her to divulge the name of her lover. Loyally, she endures their prodding and remains silent.
Its a beautifully written tragedy, and my heart broke into a thousand pieces at the end.
""Shall we not meet again?" whispered she, bending her face down close to his."
For a book published in 1850, I'm actually shocked by its message. It questions sin, and asks the reader who really has the right to judge?... it begs for pity, mercy, and compassion. A few movies have been made of the book. Demi Moore starred as Hester Prynne in a more recent retelling, and Emma Stone starred in Easy A which was inspired by The Scarlet Letter, and is referred to several times throughout the movie. I'm sure it was a very powerful book for its time, and probably why these ripples still touch us today.
The Scarlet Letter can be purchased here:
Chapter's Indigo: The Scarlet Letter Special