Why is "The Scarlet Letter" considered a "classic"? Why is "The Scarlet Letter" considered a "classic"? 

Why is "The Scarlet Letter" considered a "classic"?

Why is "The Scarlet Letter" considered a "classic"? 

Expert Answers info

lmetcalf eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2004

write1,941 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Hawthorne's novel is also an outstanding example of the writing of the Romantic period in American literature.  Romanticism focuses on human emotion, the power of nature on the human spirit, and imagination, among other things.  This novel delves into those topics.  The writing is heavy on description, and Hawthorne's use of symbols creates an excellent example of allegory.  It is a masterful and complex work, worthy of being read through the ages.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

As post #2 has remarked, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is canonical.  Recognized as the greatest truly American novel in history, Hawthorne's use of symbolism is masterful.  This use of symbol by Hawthorne has caused The Scarlet Letter to become a prototype for many, many American symbolists. In addition, Hawthorne's examination of the psychological effects of sin is equal to masters such as Dostovesky.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

litelle209 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write73 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Yes, it is true that the Scarlet Letter reveals timeless truths about the trials and tribulations of the human heart. However,...

(The entire section contains 7 answers and 1,011 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Susan Hurn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write2,150 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write1,918 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

morrol eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write337 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

enotechris eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write1,492 answers

starTop subjects are History, Science, and Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial