Wednesday, June 28, 2006
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Well, I finally did it! I can now say that I have read the book that almost every high school student in America has been forced to read. Somehow in my high school career, I missed reading any of the classics that others were made to read. I decided to preread this book as it is one of the books assigned in my sons literature curriculum this fall. I must say that it was not at all what I expected and I was pleasantly surprised. All I really new about the book was that it was based on an adulterous affair. And while that is the sin that starts the story, I found the book to be much more about sin in our life and how we deal with it. It was about the difference between confession and repentance versus hiding sin and it torturing us, or us not forgiving sin and then our sin of unforgiveness turning us into a monster. The characters became very real to me and I think that Nathaniel Hawthorne did a masterful job with this story. Although, as Gene Veith pointed out in a World Magazine article, Mr. Hawthorne did seem to miss the point on the gospel and God's great mercy and forgiveness toward us.