"The Scarlet Letter" has been called the prototype of the psychological novel and its protagonist the first true heroine of American fiction.
In 17th-century Boston, Hester Prynne is publicly disgraced for adultery and the birth of an illegitimate child. Forced henceforth to wear a scarlet "A" (for "adulteress") on her clothing as sign of her shame, Hester challenges both her husband and her lover with their own responsibilities and failures. A 19th-century classic, the enthralling book reverberates with very modern concepts of female empowerment.
Participants are requested to read parts of the text at home as preparation for the discussion in class (a perusal of "The Custom House – Introductory" for the first evening would be useful).