Summary Of ' The Book ' By Nathaniel Hawthorne

2877 Words Aug 31st, 2014 12 Pages
Chapter 1- 5 The book opens with a description of people founding a new colony, later revealed to be Boston, and setting aside parts for a cemetery and a prison. The prison is described as ugly and weather-stained. Also pointed out is the presence of a rose bush in front of the prison gate that has somehow been kept alive. A rose is offered to the reader on the basis that it could symbolize a “moral blossom” or “relieve the darkening close of a human frailty and sorrow” (Hawthorne 42). After this brief description, the story begins with a crowd gathering in front of the prison to see Hester Prynne serve her punishment. There are a group of hard-featured women who debate the punishment Hester has been given. They believe Hester’s punishment was too soft and they question the judgment of the magistrates on this matter. In their opinions, Hester should have been physically branded or even put to death.
As Hester exits the prison everyone’s attention is drawn to the fancily embroidered letter A on her gown. Hester’s first instinct is to hide the letter A by pulling her baby closer to her but decides against that. She was lead to the platform that she had to stand on in front of the town for three hours where her mind wonders through her memories. However, before her time is up, she notices someone in the crowd. This stranger is an Englishman with uneven shoulders dressed in mismatched Native American headgear. The man, not knowing what is going on, turns to a neighboring…
Open Document