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1. What is the book about?
This book is about a woman named Hester Prynne, who committed adultery with a successful clergyman named Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester Prynne was already married to an older doctor, who later called himself Roger Chillingworth. Hester and Reverend Dimmesdale’s daughter was the little Pearl. Hester Prynne was punished to stand on the scaffold with the scarlet letter “A”Â on her bosom and tell everyone who the father of the baby was. Hester refused to say the name of the father and was mocked by everyone and was humiliated in public. Everyone viewed her as a terrible woman who had done unaccepted things and was supposed to be killed. Hester was not put to death however, but was imprisoned in a bad state. The baby girl was crying and the jailor called a doctor to come and examine them. The doctor that the jailor brought was Roger Chillingworth. He calmed the baby and her mother with pills and had a talk with Hester, his wife. Chillingworth told Hester that if she kept the secret that he is her husband, then he will not harm her or the baby. Hester agreed, but refused to tell him who the father of the baby was. Chillingworth was very upset and told her that he will find out who the father was and torture and punish him. After a while, Hester and her baby were set free, but Hester decided to stay in New England and wore the scarlet letter “A”every day and was isolated by the people there. Hester acted very nicely toward other people after she was let go. After seven years, Hester and Pearl, who had grown to be an intelligent young girl, met Mr. Dimmesdale and Chillingworth. At that time, Mr. Dimmesdale’s health was very terrible and Chillingworth was his doctor. Hester found out that Mr. Dimmesdale was tortured by the guilt in his heart for the past seven years, while Hester lived a fairly good life with her daughter. Chillingworth and Dimmesdale were living together and were thought to be friends. Instead, Chillingworth was revenging against Dimmesdale everyday without noticed by Dimmesdale that he was the husband of Hester. One day when Dimmesdale and Hester met in a forest alone with the little Pearl, they talked about leaving everything behind and going to Europe, where no one knows them, and start a new life and Hester told him that Chillingworth is her husband, who lived with him every day and trying to take a revenge against him. On the Election Day, Dimmesdale gave a great sermon. After that, he went to the scaffold along with Hester and Pearl. He told the public that he was the father and died on there.
2. What was interesting about the plot and the characters?
Hester Prynne committed adultery with the pastor, Dimmesdale, and when she was asked by Mr. Dimmesdale, who the father of the child was, she remained silent. Pearl, the child of Hester Prynne, always saw her mother with the scarlet letter “A”on her bosom, and did not want to get closer to her mother when Hester without the scarlet letter called her in the forest. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale was a preacher and was thought by everyone that he was holy and honored by everyone, but actually, he was the one who committed adultery, which was not tolerated by the people and was supposed to be killed. Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s husband, came to the prison and gave Hester a pill for the child and herself to calm them down and make them feel better, but she refused to take them at first and doubting that her husband was going to take revenge. Mr. Dimmesdale lived with Roger Chillingworth for so long and never knew that Chillingworth was taking revenge on him and torturing him everyday and thought that Chillingworth was his friend. Hester and Chillingworth talked in the woods that they were going to leave New England and move to Europe, where no one knows them, but on the Election day, Chillingworth confessed his sin and died on the scaffold.
3. What insights might you get from the book?
There is no secret that can be kept forever, especially when the secret is something that you did wrong and felt guilty about. You will be tortured everyday by the feeling of guilt and it would make you feel much better after you confess what you have done wrong. It was wrong to lie in order to reach success in your life. Revenge is very powerful; it can change a person completely. Revenge does you nothing but make other people and your lives miserable, but love can make everyone happy. A mistake you make in your life is not going to ruin your life unless you can’t walk out of the shadow of your mistake. If you change the way you act, other people will feel it and have different opinions about you. Guilty feelings will eventually make you sick and have bad health. You cannot stay healthy with guilt in your heart.
4. Did you like the author’s style of writing?
No, I don’t like the author’s style of writing, because it’s too old English and I cannot really understand it fully. I have a hard time understanding the way sentences were written and it takes me a long time to get through a page. The dialogues were not present day speech, which makes it hard for me to get what they mean. We don’t normally speak like that. They order of the words are sometimes rearranged, and I need to read it in the way that I may understand them. The author used too many words that I don’t know. I don’t like to read what I have a hard time understanding every sentence. I want to enjoy reading the book instead of trying to figure out what every sentence mean. I don’t like the writing style of the author who uses English that I have trouble understand. I don’t like how the scarlet letter was written.
5. Did you like the book? Why or why not?
No, I don’t like the book, because it takes me too long to finish the book and I don’t actually understand what the story is about. The dialogues were so hard to understand and I am not familiar with the uses of the words in the book. The author uses too many words to describe a simple thing, person, or setting. The story is too wordy with too many unnecessary words. I have trouble understand more than ninety percent of the story. I don’t get what the author trying to express most of the time. The words are very difficult for me to understand. The way of speaking is completely different from what I have learned. Even the words that the child spoke were so hard to understand. I felt like I am not educated enough to read and understand this thought provoking book. The more I read; the more confusion I get. I thought I am reading an English book, but I am like reading a foreign language book. I don’t like this book.
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