Program Type:Book Discussion / Literary Reading
Published in 1850, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne was one of America's first mass-produced novels, and it was an instant popular hit, though not without drawing critical controversy. It is a work of historical fiction set in Puritan New England, but it also addresses the moral concerns of the author's own time. Hawthorne was descended from a famous Puritan judge, and found concern with how society carries out justice and the need for social redemption. He describes this novel as a "Romance" in that it partakes both of material realism and fairy-tale qualities, both of which he employs to create a story that is timeless as well as historical, and deeply psychologically compelling.
Our guest discussion leader is Dr. Theresa Moran, an associate professor at Ohio University and a trained Americanist.