Scarlet Letter, The


noun

a novel (1850) by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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Cultural definitions for Scarlet Letter, The

The Scarlet Letter

(1850) A novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne about Hester Prynne, a woman in seventeenth-century New England who is convicted of adultery. Forced to wear a scarlet letter A on her dress as a sign of her guilt, Hester refuses to reveal the identity of her lover. Eventually, a young minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, publicly admits his part in the adultery and dies in Hester's arms.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.