ISBN 9788126919086,Critical Study of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

Critical Study of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter


Devaleena Das






Publication Year 2014

ISBN 9788126919086

ISBN-10 8126919086


Number of Pages 328 Pages
Language (English)

Reference Work

Nathaniel Hawthorne's magnum opus The Scarlet Letter is a romantic work of fiction in a historical setting. Set in 17th century Puritan Boston, Massachusetts during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an adulterous affair, and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the novel, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt. It is one of those literary masterpieces which will always remain as 'contemporary'. The charm of the novel lies in the fact that regardless of its historical context, the novel encompasses timeless predicaments of humanity. Above all, Hawthorne's magnificent narrative playfulness has endowed the text with ceaseless magical appeal for amaranthine interpretations. As a result, even after innumerable critical reviews and analyses of the text, it seems always inadequate to get a complete grasp of this magnanimous interplay of complex human psychology, history and society. The book conglomerates exhaustively, all the possible and relevant critical views along with the author's own analysis of the text. The novel has been scrutinized from interdisciplinary perspectives, especially, from perspectives of psychology, cultural studies and history. It contains comprehensive study of each chapter of the novel concentrating on critical analyses of minutest of details. This is further supported by chapters which deal with author's age, his biography, and themes merging in the novel. Designed for students pursuing master's degree in English Literature, the book covers chapter synopses, Hawthorne's biography, critical and theoretical approaches like feminist reading, psychoanalysis and postmodernist viewpoint.