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The Scarlet Letter [Anglais] [Broché]

Nathaniel Hawthorne , Thomas E. Connolly , Nina Baym
4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

A dramatic, moving depiction of social defiance and social deference, of passion and human frailty

Set in the harsh Puritan community of seventeenth-century Boston, this tale of an adulterous entanglement that results in an illegitimate birth reveals Nathaniel Hawthorne's concerns with the tension between the public and the private selves. Publicly disgraced and ostracized, Hester Prynne draws on her inner strength and certainty of spirit to emerge as the first true heroine of American fiction. Arthur Dimmesdale stands as a classic study of a seld divided; trapped by the rules of society, he suppresses his passion and disavows his lover, Hester, and their daughter, Pearl. As Nina Baym writes in her Introduction, The Scarlet Letter was not written as realistic, historical fiction, but as a "romance," a creation of the imagination that discloses the truth of the human heart.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Biographie de l'auteur

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts, the son and grandson of proud New England seafarers. He lived in genteel poverty with his widowed mother and two young sisters in a house filled with Puritan ideals and family pride in a prosperous past. His boyhood was, in most respects, pleasant and normal. In 1825 he was graduated from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, and he returned to Salem determined to become a writer of short stories. For the next twelve years he was plagued with unhappiness and self-doubts as he struggled to master his craft. He finally secured some small measure of success with the publication of his Twice-Told Tales (1837). His marriage to Sophia Peabody in 1842 was a happy one. The Scarlet Letter (1850), which brought him immediate recognition, was followed by The House of the Seven Gables (1851). After serving four years as the American Consul in Liverpool, England, he traveled in Italy; he returned home to Massachusetts in 1860. Depressed, weary of writing, and failing in health, he died on May 19, 1864, at Plymouth, New Hampshire.

Nina Baym is the director of the School of Humanities and professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Thomas E. Connolly (1918–2002) was a literary critic and professor of English at the University of Buffalo, where he served as chair of the UB faculty senate. Connolly’s critical essays appeared widely in scholarly journals, and he wrote and edited several books on the works of James Joyce and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 272 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin Classics; Édition : Revised (31 décembre 2002)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0142437263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142437261
  • Dimensions du produit: 19,8 x 12,9 x 1,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 17.597 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Dans ce livre (En savoir plus)
Première phrase
It is a little remarkable, that-though disinclined to talk overmuch of myself and my affairs at the fireside, and to my personal friends-an autobiographical impulse should twice in my life have taken possession of me, in addressing the public. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Un classique de long en large 16 septembre 2010
Par Ju Do
Format:Broché
C'est l'histoire d'une femme qui, pensant son mari mort, eut la faiblesse de s'abandonner à un autre. L'oeuvre commence après la naissance de leur enfant, à la condamnation publique de Hester Prynne. De cette intrigue somme toute simple ressort un roman complexe et touchant. L'identité de l'amant, le père de l'enfant d'Hester, se dessine par d'infimes touches au fil des chapitres, dans des tremblements de main et des gouttes de sueur visibles à qui sait les voir. Cette quête du "coupable", à la manière d'un récit policier, vient se mêler à l'histoire dominante du livre, celle de Hester, une des femmes les plus fortes de la littérature à mes yeux. Abominée par son village à la moralité puritaine calviniste très dure, forcée de porter en son sein la lettre qui signe son crime (A pour Adultère), elle commence une seconde vie à l'écart des autres, et pourtant parmi eux puisqu'elle refuse de quitter son village, pour se punir elle-même, mais aussi dans une sorte de fierté. Cette tension entre orgueil d'une femme amoureuse et remords insupportable de l'adultérine donne au texte un dynamisme exceptionnel, qui s'incarne dans la figure de la petite Pearl, l'enfant de la honte, petit lutin aux accents diaboliques qui court d'un bout à l'autre du roman, dans des robes toutes plus colorées les unes que les autres, dans une communauté grise. Si l'on doit s'identifier, avec qui le faire? Avec la coupable, ou son amant trop lâche pour se révéler? Avec l'esprit rigoureux et juste de cette communauté sans coeur? Lire la suite ›
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Super 28 janvier 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
C.est toujours difficile à lancer la première lecture d'un roman, en même temps il est pas intéressant pour tous, mais une fois on commence, on a envié de continuer!
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Amazon.com: 3.9 étoiles sur 5  852 commentaires
150 internautes sur 174 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Good read, but hard to navigate ebook 6 novembre 2009
Par Srinivas Chetty - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I have long wanted to read this book by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was one of the first books I downloaded when I got my kindle 2. The character portrayals are superb. It analyses the thoughts, motivations, strengths and weaknesses of the four major characters in the story - Hester Prynn, the vengeful doctor, the hapless minister and Hester's vivacious and elf-like daughter Pearl. The description of the little girl and how she copes with being ostracized with her mother by a rigid puritanical society, is especially moving. While there are some descriptions of nature that are quite vivid, most of the text goes into developing these four characters and is a fascinating psychological study, though at times it's little slow.

Overall, a well-crafted story and a good read.

The book though is hard to navigate on the kindle because it has no active table of contents. I therefore would not purchase this version at regular price. Luckily, it's free!
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This is not the book you hated in high school . . . 23 mai 2006
Par Alesha N. Gates - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
There are so many things I could say about this book, but should I reach the heights of elegance achieved only by Shakespeare, Hawthorne himself, or Faulkner, I could not overcome the horrible, terrible misconceptions most people have formed after having this beautiful novel foisted upon them in high school. Instead, I'll share a few observations and some tips for reading.

First, this is a complicated story. It's not about evil Puritans and hero Hester, although you will read this point of view in the cheat note summaries on the internet. It's not about feminism, really, nor is it about religion in any technical sense. The only comparison that really fits is that of love story, or love triangle, or maybe love square. (I told you it is complicated.) In all of literature, there are very few writers who have penned characters so incredibly real and well-rounded. When you finish the novel, you KNOW these people. Certainly there is some minor societal commentary, but the real story here is about these people.

Now, I'm assuming that many people looking at this page have been told they must read this book for high school English. As a former teacher of said subject, I have some pointers.

(1) Make sure you read the book for yourself. Chances are (in our current educational system) your teacher is going to have a flat interpretation of this book, likely gleaned from some ready-made teaching packet. (If you have another kind of teacher, consider yourself lucky.) You can have some very interesting class discussions if you actually read the material and challenge some of the majority opinions about the novel. Be a rebel. Have some fun in English.

(2) Read *The Custom House* introduction, but wait until after you've finished the book. It's only good in that it explains Hawthorne's view of his own book (difficult and painful) and reveals his struggle to write it. The writing style, however, is decidedly un-Hawthorne and more difficult to read than the rest of the book. If you read it first, you will be unfairly biased against the novel.

(3)Read it SLOWLY, if at all possible. The storyline is complex and should be read with care. I would also recommend underlining and taking notes, if your copy of the book allows it. You will develop a truly deep appreciation of the work.

(4) Finally, avoid the Demi Moore 1995 adaptation AT ALL COSTS. Words cannot describe how awful it is. And if your hope is to find something to help you on the test, the only real similarities are the character's names and the red patch on Hester's dress. If you must see a film version, find the PBS miniseries with John Heard and Meg Foster (made in the 1970s). It does the best job that a film possibly could with this material.
196 internautes sur 237 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "The Scarlet Letter" 6 septembre 2000
Par D. Bass - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Like many reviewers here, I was "forced" to read this book for my English Composition class. However, unlike many reviewers here, I have a much different view of the story. As some people have said before, Hawthorne's book takes a good deal of concentration, effort, and strength to understand. Not only to understand, but to finish. The story can drag sometimes, it is true, and Hawthorne's style of writing occasionally leaves something to be desired (I don't think I've ever seen that many commas, 15 letter words, or page long paragraphs before), but we simply must look past these minor issues. Overall, the plot is highly creative and intense, despite the writing.\
Ok, ok, I agree that the first chapter, "The Custom-House", was pretty bad. In fact, it was so bad and boring that I drifted off to sleep several times while reading it! The first chapter has little relevancy with the story, so, unless you have to, I would suggest skipping that part of the text. The rest is exceptionally good, and the quality of the plot cannot be overlooked. My advice is to just lay off the first chapter; that way you'll be able to enjoy the rest of the book without difficulty.
The story itself deals with sin and adultery, a subject that isn't very popular right now. Hawthorne does an excellent job of telling us about this, but he leaves the reader with many questions floating around in his mind at the conclusion. At the end of the story you're not 100% sure if Hawthorne was condemning the Puritan society, or if he was commending it. He leaves that for the reader to figure out, which is a thing authors seldom do. That's a major reason I believe this work is so unique and timeless.
The story involves a women named Hester Prynne, living in the New World in the late 17th century. She has committed adultery with someone unknown, and, since the Puritan society considered the Bible to be their ultimate source of law, the punishment was quite severe for such an act. Hester is forced to wear a scarlet "A" (for adultery) on her attire at all times, as a sign to everyone that she has sinned deeply. And so she must carry out the rest of her life this way. That's the major gist of the plot, although there's much more. I won't give it anyway, though, you'll have to read the book to find out.
Let's face it: at some time or another we all are going to probably have to read this book, voluntarily or involuntarily. Shouldn't we try to make the best of it? Read it for its enjoyment, anything else would be missing the point.
98 internautes sur 122 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Intriguing and Creative 15 décembre 2008
Par C. Chetty - Publié sur Amazon.com
The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, takes place in the 1600s in Boston, which was a Puritan community at that time. The Puritans had extremely strict moral codes, and adultery, a subject matter in this novel, was deemed by the Puritans in the same way that felonies today are regarded. The novel's plot is directed by the Puritans' reactions to such behavior.

Nearly all classic novels get praised for character "development." However, the Scarlet Letter is the only novel I have read so far that, in my opinion, truly demonstrates development of characters. All other novels I have read have "exploration" of characters, but not actual development. Development of characters involves portraying the changes in a person's personality as a result of conflict.

In my opinion, the most impressive aspect of the Scarlet Letter is the ingenious connection between the novel's message and character development. In the Scarlet Letter, a single incident of adultery has unforeseen consequences that affect four people. How each character responds to the situation determines his or her physical and mental outcome in the story. The core message of the novel is that hiding one's sins causes more anguish than revealing one's sins.

The character development is superb, but the novel does not seem to use the developed characters to influence the plot. The subject of adultery was a creative element to develop characters, but I wish that the author had introduced a different conflict toward the end of the novel to show how the 3D characters would have reacted to the change in subject matter. I personally think that varying the subject matter and conflict would have made the message even more convincing; however, the novel is written with a confident call to action, which is the MOST important aspect of any work of fiction.

We live in a world in which immorality is everywhere, so a novel in which nothing inappropriate happens would be a pointless novel. Novels must address societies' immorality without sacrificing decency. Therefore, I commend The Scarlet Letter for referencing sexually immoral subject matter, without being a "sexual" book. This represents brilliance and should be observed by all writers of fiction.

Many readers have complained that The Scarlet Letter is irrelevant to today's society. To some extent, I agree. However, the greatest novels written today will be irrelevant to society two hundred years into the future. Therefore, there is no justification for criticizing writers simply because their masterpieces will someday seem irrelevant. As time progresses, scenery changes, climates change, countries split up or join together, governments change, laws change, etiquette changes, etc. However, the elements of human personalities do not change with time. It is for this reason that I constantly emphasize the importance of characters. The Scarlet Letter's characters' personalities are thoroughly developed and distinctive, so they exist throughout today's world, as well as tomorrow's world.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The truth shall set you free. 10 août 1999
Par TJ - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
This book is the first of two grand contributions that Nathaniel Hawthorne made to American literature (the second being the inspiration that he provided to Herman Melville during the composition of Moby Dick.) Like all great books, this novel deals with issues which are timeless and central to the human condition. Can (or should) the state legislate morality? If so, to what degree? Which is the greater sin, a momentary weakness or a sustained and conscious deception? Which is the greater punishment, public humiliation or private guilt? And, perhaps most importantly, what is the proper response to each? The novel provides clear and compelling examples of tragic consequences which can be avoided by the simple, but sometimes difficult, act of telling the truth. The permeating sadness of the story results from the failure of each character to do so.
Despite comments here to the contrary, this book is not difficult to read or understand, and it is not dull if you can grasp its themes. The ideas expressed are intricate and symbolism is pervasive throughout the story. However, any reader who really wants to understand and enjoy the book should not have great difficulty in doing so. To those readers who feel challenged to appreciate this book, Hawthorne himself offers you a thought (on page 18 of my edition) which you should seriously consider --
"It contributes greatly towards a man's moral and intellectual health to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike himself, who care little for his pursuits, and whose sphere and abilities he must go out of himself to appreciate."
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