For the 1st nine weeks our outside reading will be Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter”. As you read this text on your own be sure to consider that it is an early Romantic piece – this means that issues we are exploring during the Expansionist period will still be prevalent in it’s pages. Additionally, you will need to consider that Hawthorne’s ancestor was Judge Hathorne of the Salem Witch Trails, and his feels about his family’s past involvement in this dark period of early American history is a motivating factor for the novel.

As you read chapters 1-9 prior to September 30, be sure to consider how the expansionist issues below appear in the text:

  • An awareness of the past.
  • The relationship with the Native Americans.
  • A longing for a less mechanized way of life.

Additionally, important themes, symbols of motifs of the story you should be noting are:

  • The individual’s place in society, and their identity through society.
  • Isolation
  • Man/Civilization vs Nature
  • The Role of Women and Femininity
  • Justice and Revenge
  • Hypocrisy
  • Sin and Forgiveness
  • The Supernatural
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • Dimmsdale’s red mark
  • The Meteor
  • Pearl
  • The Black Man
  • The Forest

Remember to review the previous post of Socratic Seminars before Wednesday – you must ask the three types of questions required to get extra credit!