The Scarlet Letter embodies passion through its main character, Hester Prynne. Hester is impassioned with grace and dignity when she bears the shameful scarlet ‘A’. Instead of leaving the settlement, she faces her punishment and refuses to submit to the townspeople’s requests for the name of her fellow adulterer. She displays a strong-willed sense of belief in raising her child and supporting herself. She never would have been able to survive as a single mother in such a strict Puritan colony without such passion and fervor to overcome her obstacles. Civility is displayed through Hester’s grace and character in response to the brutality of her fellow neighbors. Rather than lashing out against her accusers, Hester chooses to continue to display respect and kindness despite the persecution she receives. Throughout the novel, it is clear that she has learned much from her mistakes and holds a steadfast belief in herself.
The Scarlet Letter, is available through Indiana Humanities Novel Conversations lending library. Request a set (for free!) for your book club today.
In September, October and November, Indiana Humanities is exploring the topic of “civility,” as part of its Spirit of Competition theme.