Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter

(2985 words)

The Scarlet Letter: A Romance, published in Boston by Ticknor and Fields in 1850, has come to be considered among the most important works in American literature, and indeed among the most important novels written in English. Widely read in the nineteenth century and appreciated for its portrait of Puritanism, twentieth-century critics have recognised its complex allegorical and symbolic patterns as offering a penetrating reflection on dilemmas which are fundamental to American experience and identity, most notably the idea that the migration of the Pilgrim Fathers held out the possibility of earthly regeneration. Whilst the novel is often read as an isolated expression of such concerns, when read in relation to Hawthorne…

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Daly, Robert. "The Scarlet Letter". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 January 2006
[, accessed 02 December 2015.]