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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: Home

Literary Analysis Research Guide

This guide will help you find information for your research assignment both in the library and on the Internet. For students at Lone Star College-Kingwood, there may also be materials on reserve at the Circulation Desk. Ask a librarian for assistance.

As you begin, narrow your topic to a size that you can manage.  Consider keywords that will help you find the information you need. These can be names of people, literary works, events, or broader identifying terms.  Use these keywords for locating information in the library catalog, electronic databases, and on the Internet. 

The Scarlet Letter - Full- text of the Novel

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Published in 1850, The Scarlet Letter is set in Boston of the mid-1600s.  It tells the story of Hester Prynne, a woman whose husband is believed lost at sea.  Her newborn child is evidence that she has committed adultery; as part of her punishment, she must publicly wear a scarlet letter "A". When her husband suddenly reappears, he resolves to discover the identity of the father of Hester's child.  Hester steadfastly refuses to identify her lover. Through the use of rich symbolism and supernatural events, Hawthorne shows the destructive effects of guilt and revenge. Though set in a Puritan community centuries ago, the moral dilemmas of personal responsibility and consuming emotions of guilt, anger, loyalty and revenge are timeless.

"No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude,without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true." 
                                                                     Scarlet Letter, Chapter 20


Books Available in the Reserve Collection

Your instructors have set aside these books to help locate critical information for The Scarlet Letter. Ask for these titles at the circulation desk. You may check them out for 2 hours, in-library use only.

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