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The Scarlet Letter Cover

The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published in 1850 and is considered his finest novel. The Scarlet letter is a fictional romance set in mid 1600 Boston and deals with the serious topics of infidelity, injustice, and exclusion. The story opens when Hester Prynne, a young woman who has been found guilty of adultery, must wear a scarlet letter “A” on her dress and be subjected to public humiliation by standing on a scaffold for three hours.  Hester refuses to name the father of the child that results from the affair. The story unfolds as Hester endures the ongoing ridicule and tireless investigation of her vengeful husband to find and punish the other adulterer.

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Readability Method Rating
Fry Estimate
Flesh Reading Ease
Composite Grade Level
Open LORE Reading Level
58 (fairly difficult)