Talk:The Scarlet Letter

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I really enjoyed your presentation of the Scarlet Letter. It gave me more of an insight to the book. --Luwanda

Hello I thought you all did a great job on your page. I did find two minor spelling errors. In the last paragraph (I think) of the "Plot Summary" section, there needs to be an -s- at the end of the word 'depart', this is what the text says right now, "He then collapses and depart this life,". The other spelling error I found was in the "Feminism, Isolation..." section, there needs to be an -er ending with the word 'rough', the text reads "...stronger and rough...". Overall it was a great presentation today! -Liz

hey! thanks for the edit! I fixed it...haha that was stupid. thanks again! -YJ

Hey all, I thought your group presentation was awesome on Thursday! It was really fun analyzing the Scarlet Letter from the different perspectives of the secondary writers chosen for this novel and everyone seemed really knowledgeable about their sources. For the collaborative essay, I really liked the section (Feminism, Isolationism, and Norms)where you contrasted Hester with Dimmsdale and Chillingworth. One thing I might suggest is that you expand this area a bit further? I think it'd be interesting to explore why Hester ultimately decides to come back to the Puritan society instead of living with Pearl as customary or move away after Pearl grew up...And just a minor grammatical thing I noticed. in the overview, someone probably pushed "t" twice on accident when spelling scarlet. Good Job again! -Nathan

--- I liked the topic about feminism and how Hawthorne gave Hester different traits from the men. It is true that throughtout the story it seemed as though there wasn't an emphasis on Hester's female qualities or characteristics other than being a mother and seamstress. The scene that actually defines her sex the most to me was when she talked in the forest with Dimmesdale. That was the only time she showed in real emotions and passion, and it was towards a male countrepart which made me finally view her in a more feminine light. --Kasmira

--- The part about Hawthorn's era was a very good supplement to the Scarlet letter. Being able to put the novel in context is important for decoding the purpose of some of the passages. I thought there was a great point about Hawthorn's time and how the private sector became increasingly valued, but I was a little confused about one sentence in particular. "... Hawthorne creates a connection between the public of Puritan Boston and of the nineteenth century." It seems like this sentence ended too early, the ideas of the nineteenth century? The contemporary thought of the nineteenth century? some clarification in this sentence would really strengthen your argument. Otherwise, good job!


Good job group! The content within your annotated bibliographies seems like it’s off to a good start, but could use some fleshing out on most all of your work. The plot summary in your collaborative essay seems a bit daunting, so you might want to cut it down a bit - also, its really great that you mentions Foucault in the Private vs. Public section, but I would add a quote from him to better back up your argument. Thanks again for all of your great work, and keep it coming! :) – Brittany

Hey guys, awesome job with everything. I liked your presentation in class - it was very clear and concise, which is good because you all got your points across quite clearly. I also liked the fact that you put Hawthorne's era in its own separate section to let the reader know what he or she is dealing with, when it comes to understanding the culture of the novel. I feel like that is an important aspect of reading any book, so that all of us have a better grasp on the situation in the storyline. What I would suggest is to cite all your sources in the end, rather than just two of them. Overall though, very nicely written - I enjoyed reading it.  :D--Lora 00:25, 29 April 2008 (EDT)

Very good sections of thought put into the essay. It highlights good topics that a reader can keep in mind to get much more out of the novel. The summary seems too much on the dry side. It sounds more like a recipe to me than a summary of key points in the novel. Maybe you could briefly mention the significance of key moments like when the meteor shoots across the sky. Put some significance to the occurrence instead of just saying it happened. You have great thoughts in your essay, now put them throughout the whole thing.:) ~Janessa

I started out by just editing a minor typo in the "Public vs. Private" section, but it got me thinking that I'd like to see a little bit more explanation of the significance of Dimmesdale's final confession at the end of that section. I feel that it ends too quickly, and can explore how the theme of gender roles plays into confessions (who hears them, what power compels them, whether they bring absolution, etc.), and how Dimmesdale's confession as a man may be different from that of a woman. -Brian

All of you wrote excellent commentary about this complex novel. You have interesting insights. I would be interested to see an elaboration on a particular claim in the section title "Feminism, Isolation, and Norms in the Scarlet Letter." It was stated, "Hester is desexualized when she is wearing the letter A, but at the same time it is what makes her stronger and helps her to overthrow domesticity and submissiveness." Is there a connection here between being desexualized and being strong and subversive? How do the two go together? Is freedom from gender roles a means of claiming power? - Julia

Your group did a great job with the Scarlet Letter! The insight you provided on your secondary sources on Thursday was interesting. I especially like that you included the section, "Hawthorne's Era." The era in which these novels take place is obviously very vital to the dynamics of the relationships between the characters. Including a brief overview of the society at that time provides a deeper understanding of the challenges they face. -Elena

Is there a connection here between being desexualized and being strong and subversive? How do the two go together? Is freedom from gender roles a means of claiming power? – Julia Yes, there is a clear connection between becoming desexualized and the strength Hester gains in the process. Gender is a social institution that divides work at home, allocates authority and organizes sexuality. Gender is part of structured inequality. The inferior gender has less value and status. By not having that social construct that bounds her to those roles as a “female”, Hester becomes free of the “gender role” that maintains the oppression of women. – Mahlet

Your analysis is very in depth. It is refreshing and much of it is new from what I have previously heard when the Scarlet Letter has been discussed and written about. It is "fresh." I like how there are many different perspectives presented all within one piece of work. Very well done!! - Rachel

I like the private vs public section because it is well explained and addresses an extremely significant aspect of the novel. This discussion between the two sectors shines light on the subject of Hester as a prime example of how society dictates norms by exploiting certain individuals. Unfortunately, in that society, people were so critical of anyone who lived outside of their norm that someone like Hester was literally made an example of to the rest of the community just to prove a point. I find it hard not to sympathize for Hester after knowing how much she suffers, not from her own inner turmoil, but from the harshness of society.--elena

I really enjoyed the well-written section on "Public vs. Private" sectors. One line especially struck me as holding great value to the novel. You state, "Hester is given insight into other’s private sectors because she is placed into the public eye; she is given the opportunity to have a view of the privileged secrecy given to others." I think this aspect of Hester's life is so valuable to the story because it reveals the irony of her exploitation. You go on to discuss the envy that is actually produced out of this, and it really made me think outside of the accepted understanding of her conviction.--Elena

Hey, thanks to whoever wrote the last part of the collaborative essay about family. I used some of it for my final paper and it worked out great! Just to give some of you a glimpse of what I talked about.. my essay topic pretty much came down to the idea of family and what it exactly looks like. But to explain the image of a family also takes on somewhat of a subjective point-of-view because in actuality, everyone has their own view of a family. That is why in my essay, I try to make it clear that the word, "family," becomes a simple metaphor for the infinite amount of forms that it can mold into. For example, a family does not necessarily have to be blood-related; because looking at today's society, many families exist that are formed through divorce, artificial insemination, surrogate mothers, etc. Thus, families can be formed through simple bonds and affection people have toward one another. Okay, enough of that..

- Aaron Park

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