Parents | Raising readers & learners.

Home of Parent & Child Magazine

The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

First published in 1850, The Scarlet Letter is Nathaniel Hawthorne's masterpiece and one of the greatest American novels. Its themes of sin, guilt, and redemption, woven through a story of adultery in the early days of the Massachusetts Colony, are revealed with remarkable psychological penetration and understanding of the human heart.
Set in 17th-century New England, Hester Prynne is the adulteress, forced by the Puritan community to wear a scarlet letter A on the breast of her gown. Arthur Dimmesdale, the minister and the secret father of her child, Pearl, struggles with the agony of conscience and his own weakness. Roger Chillingworth, Hester's husband, revenges himself on Dimmesdale by calculating assaults on the frail mental state of the conscience-stricken cleric. The result is an American tragedy of stark power and emotional depth that has mesmerized critics and readers for nearly a century and a half.
A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Ages
14, 15, 16, 17, 18
Interest Level
Grades 9 - 12
Genre
Classics

About the Author

Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Reading Toolkit

Shop From Scholastic

Find Just-Right Books

Find Just-Right Books