The Scarlet Letter

 

English: Hester Prynne & Pearl before the stocks

 

English: Engraving of American author Nathanie...

 

In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the true tale of a beautiful, but doomed woman, Hester Prynne. Set in 17th century Boston, this dark and melancholy story is certainly a classic.

 

The story opens in sync with the door of the town jail to let Hester into the harsh sunlight, carrying her illegitimate baby girl. For her punishment, she is to stand in shame before the townspeople for three hours, and to permanently wear a scarlet A. She is not sentenced to death because she refuses to name her partner who actually is the weak young minister the town idolizes. Her husband returns from two years separation to find her the object of shame, but decides to not recognize her. Being a men of remarkable intellect he obtains her vow to remain silent about their relationship and sets out to wreak horrible vengeance on his rival.

 

What I like about Hawthorne’s writing style was that he was able to communicate emotions in strong ways. In the beginning, when Hester commences her life on ignominy, you can feel her heart beat, sweaty palms, and burning cheeks. Artistically done, with well-chosen words, Hawthorne creates his own dark, cold, unforgiving world, were the only bit of ‘light’ comes from Pearl, Hester’s daughter, in perverse, ethereal and demonic ways.

 

In the conclusion, Hawthorne states that he hoped his readers would come away with the moral of being true; not hiding behind a false good name like the young minister. I thought the moral would be more about adultery, but near the end, the focus shifted from Hester onto the misery of the nervous minster. Although there were a few different points tucked away in the story, I found it to frown on the strict law of the puritans and look at the sin as a thing of passion.

 

I would say, in all, The Scarlet Letter left me a bit confused about the authors ethics, but intrigued and well satisfied with the story.

 

~N

 

P.S. I was pleasantly surprised to find no immoral content. It is very clean, just dark.

 

Book Review: The Hiding Place

The Hiding Place. Psalm 32:7. The LORD is our hiding place, and he does shield us from danger. Very recently, I perused the pages of a wonderful book. The characters put me to shame as they thank the LORD for lice, concentration camps, flies, pain and all other sufferings the human mind can imagine.

The Characters

Cornelia (Connie) : Connie is the main character in the book. She is faithful, devoted, and very practical.

Elizabeth (Betsie) : Betsie is the angel. She reminds Connie to give thanks to the LORD, for humiliation, disgrace, pain and even the very people who wrought all this wrong upon them.

Betsie and Connie are the two main character’s in the book. They are sister’s, and they are very inspiring influential people.

The Crux 

Connie and Betsie are in Holland, and helping hide Jews from the Nazis. Eventually they are captured, and put into concentration camps. In the Concentration Camp,

*************************SPOILERS********************************

Betsie dies. As Corrie deals with this, she is released on exactly New Years Day.

(Betsie had foretold that they would be released that year)

It turns out however, that this was by mistake. Another providence of GOD was that Corrie had smuggled in a bible. When all the prisoners were being patted down, she wasn’t touched. When there was lice in their barracks, Corrie complained. But Betsie  thanked GOD for their hardships. Come to find out that the Overseers wouldn’t enter the room, because of the lice, so Betsie could hold bible studies.

It is a very sad story about faith, love and grace, and if you don’t feel like crying, don’t read it.

Reading it gives oneself a deeper view of the human sufferings, and meanwhile the healing faith and love that can be found in our Hiding place and refuge, Jesus Christ.

~ Mademoiselle Renata