Scarlet Letter - Reading Log
Uploaded by bigmike on Sep 07, 2001
Aug. 25 2001 Chapter 1 Pages 49-50
1. Chapter one thoroughly describes the Jailhouse and the surrounding landscape. Tells of the huge wooden edifices whose threshold is timbered and iron barred. Gives the description of the peoples clothing who were congregating outside of the prison. It also describes the necessity of a new colony first building a prison and graveyard. In the last paragraph it tells of a rose bush outside of the oaken doors. The author describes the awkwardness of having such a beautiful plant surrounded by weeds and shrubs.
2. (Page 50) The rose-bush, by a strange chance, has been kept alive in history; but whether it had merely survived out of the stern old wilderness, so long after the fall of the gigantic pines and oaks that originally overshadowed it, --or whether, as there is fair authority for believing, it had sprung up under the footsteps of the sainted Anne Hutchinson, --we shall not take upon us to determine. I believe these lines are important because they illustrate some of the mythology of the times in which this book was set. The author also goes on to describe how this rose bush could symbolize two different things depending on the readers perspective; A tale of morals blossoming; or a tale of human frailty and sorrow.
3. I think chapter one should have been more obvious to the setting and time frame in which the story takes place. By text one assumes it is set in a new colony in early American history, however it should give a precise time in my opinion. Hawthorne does an excellent job of helping the reader visualize the story and is able to present a question of opinion in the first chapter, which shows great writing skills.
4. The first chapter reminds me of Where The Red Fern Grows. The rose bush that is mentioned briefly has much to do with the story even though there is little reference to it. In WTRFG the fern is actually not so much part of the story as an idea represented through a physical inanimate object, as I believe the rose bush to be. Later in the novel Pearl says she came from the rose bush by the prison door, that shows her beauty and resilience as a comparison to an object unable to show emotion.
Aug. 25, 2001 Chapter 2 Pages 51 to 61