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Michelle in AL

The Scarlet Letter....

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Did anyone else want to poke their eyes out during the first 130 pages?

 

I liked the first chapter which read like a scene from a movie, but the next chapters up until around p 130 were, imho, exhausting. I really appreciate this time period in British lit which uses the same lengthy descriptions to set tone and mood, but this was very hard for me.

 

I did VERY much like the story after the 1st 130 pages. It picked up, the plot line was exciting, the themes came together and the descriptive quality seemed more pertinent.

 

I'm trying to decide whether or not to teach this in a co-op class next yr, but I think that very few students would make it through the 1st half.

 

I started the 1st chapter of The House of Seven Gables (400+ pages)and like it much better, but feel it's too much to ask to read on top of Great Expectations. Any opinions?

 

How did you feel about Scarlet Letter?

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Skip the intro. He added "The Custom's House" later. I listened that part on Librivox, then read the book.

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We loved it at our house, when ds was reading it we all fought over the book. Ds wrote an incredible character analysis of Chilly. Make sure everyone at the co-op is ok with the subject matter....not sure it would be ok with the group here...

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Then I put it down after the 2nd chapter. I think I'll keep reading it now.

 

Last night I started reading Uncle Tom's Cabin. I've got a horrible head cold and this is SO not the book to start when you feel bad. The dialect is hard to get through at times.

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I loved it. I loved all the symbolism and the names meaning something, the hidden themes, etc. It was my first foray into that sort of stuff in public school.

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Count me in the love it group. It is one novel I really enjoy doing with my kids. Now, Richard III, otoh, I absolutely detested!

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I wonder how I'm missing what everyone else loves so much :confused: ?

 

I feel the same way about A Farewell to Arms... Ugh...Had to scratch it off the list 'cuz if I can't get through it without wanting to poke my eyes out, I can't expect dd to be excited about reading it either.

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We have to be careful to not project our own perceptions on our kids. My son loves LOTS of stuff I don't. He is a tremendous history buff!! My daughter is more like me, history not so much our favorite. I never tell them how I think they're going to like/dislike a book before they read it.

 

That is so true, Rebecca. I've been amazed at things that my daughter has loved that have left me cold.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Last night I started reading Uncle Tom's Cabin. I've got a horrible head cold and this is SO not the book to start when you feel bad. The dialect is hard to get through at times.

 

I'm just finishing it up! Hard enough to get through without a head cold; can't imagine reading it with one. Can't say it's one of my favorites. I much preferred The Scarlet Letter.

 

Yolanda

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the metaphor of poking the eyes out is really quite appropriate. We enjoy things that we can see and we don't enjoy things that we can't see. I can't see anything in music, to speak of, so my tastes are terribly primitive.

 

We also enjoy having a question that we are seeking an answer for. Some people approach a book like Scarlet Letter not knowing what to look for. That's what happened to me when I was in my twenties. Couldn't stand the book.

 

Then I read it a few months ago because I kept hearing how great it was. I came with different questions. Can't say it's my favorite book, but I deeply respect Hawthorne's artistry, which is a pleasure in its own right. And I like the, shall we say, message of the book.

 

The Scarlet Letter can't be read like a normal novel. Really, it's a fairy tale. The story is not particularly believable, and it is not meant to be. You basically have three or maybe four characters, and one of them is almost the devil incarnate.

 

here's a suggestion or two that might conceivably increase your plesaure:

 

 

  • If you are into this sort of thing, let the artistry wash over you.
  • Ask, should Hester (or either of the two men) have revealed Hester's lover? Keep coming back to that question.
  • Come up with other questions that you might find more interesting about a character and what he/she did. For example, ask: should Hester and her lover have left the village? Should Hester have disciplined her daughter more?
  • Compare a character in this story from one in another. For example, is Hester's husband an Iago? A Richard III? Who else is he like? How? How are they different?

OK, that's four, but I hope one of them will prove valuable. It really is a beautiful story. One you are allowed to dislike if you want.

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Thanks Andrew, I have finished it and DID enjoy the 2nd half. There was just something about the writing of the first half that I couldn't appreciate.

 

I will definitely build up the characters before I teach this in class (I teach a co-op). I like your idea of presenting it as a fairy tale. I wish I could find one that closely correlates...girl falls in love with boy, but is attached to another, more evil boy, ends up with neither in the end...hmmm. If you think of one, let me know.

 

I also listened to the portion I didn't like on audio, and that was much better.

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