Saturday, May 28, 2016

Classics Challenge: April (sort of) and May, Plus a New Thing

Well, if you remember from this post, my April book was The Lord of the Rings and my May book was a choice between The Scarlet Letter and The Last of the Mohicans.


I did not finish LotR in April, as mentioned in my previous post, but I did read The Scarlet Letter in April for school, so that counts, right? I'm considering them switched. LotR I'm still working on, obviously, but it's a long book, okay? I will provide a long post of pictures and thoughts when I finish.

Not my copy, I just liked it.
My thoughts on The Scarlet Letter are complicated. It's a very interesting, complex book, and not at all what I had expected. Hester and Pearl I thought particularly enigmatic. Hester seems sometimes repentant; yet ready to do it all over again, I think. Pearl was a little confusing. This is a great essay on her.
Arthur Dimmesdale was somewhat simpler to understand, yet also very interesting. He has great strength at times, yet is weak-willed mostly and weak in body. *SPOILER* One could write an essay just on his reasons for hiding his guilt. I disagree with him (he would have suffered so much less if only he hadn't), but he's very convincing. If you do, please tell me about it, because I'd love to read it. *END SPOILER* 
 I can't even get into Roger Chillingworth. Talk about complex. He is rather the victim of the story, but in many ways he's also the villain. You want him to fail, though he, of all the characters, "deserves" most to "win". *TINY SPOILER (not even a spoiler, just talking about the books events more than I usually do)* While I don't support Hester's affair or her attempt to leave with her lover, there is a feeling of wanting them to succeed, to get past Roger and onto a "better" life.  *MAJOR SPOILERS* I prefer, though, the way Hawthorne ended it, because a life lived in sin would not have been better. Confessing to God, what Arthur should have done in the first place, was the relief he needed, not a vacation from Puritans. *END MAJOR SPOILERS*
One thing I found interesting (and wrong) was how Hester keeps thinking of herself in relation to her lover, how they are "bound together" for good or for ill, but for eternity. She believes that even if they are kept apart on earth, even if they should be kept apart, they will stand together at the Last Judgment. I guess she didn't read Matthew 22:30.
I did guess the identity of Pearl's father midway through the book, but this didn't detract from the experience. Something that DID was the long prologue which has nothing to do with rest of the book. While interesting (and curiously enough, somewhat true, as it is based on Hawthorne's experience when he worked at the Salem Custom House), it seemed very random and made the book difficult to get into at first. There is no actual content in this book (no description of Hester's adultery or anything), and I don't think there was any cursing, but obviously the topic makes it a better read for high schoolers.

Do I recommend this book, and to whom? I recommend it, yes, as a thought-provoking read, which I interpreted as showing the point of true repentance. High schoolers and up will benefit most.

I highly recommend this article for further thoughts on The Scarlet Letter (it does contain spoilers).

Finally, on to this New Thing for which I have kept you all in suspense. You may have noticed that this post has "King Arthur" and "writing" as labels. You may not. Regardless, I now introduce to you

Rancher Artie: A Mockery of the Western Romance Genre
You now see my cleverness in adding the image above, so that you would not at first see this one.
Or my imagination of The Arthurian Chronicles if they were in the Old West, written for my mental stimulation and your amusement. I shall provide installments whenever I feel like it. Look for the first this weekend.

 photo awdursignature_zps319c67b7.png

P.S. I just changed my profile to reflect my new age. I just wrote that I'm seventeen!?!?!?

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