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This document is a summary of the novel The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the mid-Nineteenth century however it is regarded by many as a classic today The Scarlet Letter is a tale of human tragedy which attempts to convey a moral It was well researched and apparently portrays the era of Puritanism accurately In fact the setting for the story is described in great detail in the first chapter This book is preceded by a long essay entitled The Custom House which describes in excruciating detail him finding foolscap sheets and a scarlet letter A which gave him the idea to write the novel There is very little linking in this long drawn out essay that has anything to do with the rest of this book The backbone of the Scarlet Letter is its main characters The Characters The main character of this book Hester Prynne was supposedly the heroine of the story It was her who at the beginning of the book was found guilty of having a child by someone who is not her husband She is forced to go to prison and wear a scarlet A on her clothing for the rest of her life so that she may be judged wherever she goes Its obvious that the author wanted to portray Hester as somewhat of a victim which is partially the case Arthur Dimmesdale was the pastor at the church that Hester attended as well as the father of her child Until much later in his life he convinced Hester to not name him as the father of her child In typical fashion his justification for this is that he feels that it will look bad for his church if his personal misdeeds became public knowledge He becomes physically ill later in the book because of his immense guilt for his supposed misdeed
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