The Scarlet Letter

 The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850, is a classic piece of American literature. It follows the story of Hester Prynne, who has committed adultery and must wear an "A" on her chest as punishment. Throughout the novel, readers explore themes such as guilt, hypocrisy and revenge while also gaining insight into Puritan culture during this time period.

 The novel begins with Hester being publicly humiliated for her actions and sentenced to stand upon a scaffold with her daughter Pearl. As she stands there wearing the letter A, people around town begin to speculate about why she was given this punishment. Through flashbacks from different characters, we learn more about what happened between Hester and Reverend Dimmesdale, which resulted in their secret affair that ultimately led to Pearl's birth.

 Throughout the book, we see how each character deals with their inner struggles, whether it be through public shaming or self-inflicted pain - all while trying to maintain some sort of moral code within their own personal lives and belief systems. The scarlet letter serves as a constant reminder not only for those looking at it but also for those carrying it, symbolizing both shame and redemption depending on how one chooses to interpret its meaning throughout the course of events that take place within the novel itself.