Students Sound Off on Scarlet Letter Omission

“I think that the way the course is being done makes sense because we’re rebuilding our essay writing skills through shorter writing assignments that fit well with short stories, but we also lose something when we skip over major novels. I mean, The Scarlet Letter is a pretty classic high school book. I’ll probably read it on my own at some point, but not everyone will.”

“While I understand that The Scarlet Letter is a classic, we did spend an inordinate amount of time reading, analyzing, and discussing it. This left us crunched for time in the spring, when I felt rushed as we read novels like The Great Gatsby.”

“The short stories/poems…felt very open ended. Personally, I like feeling really involved in a book and spending a good amount of time discussing it, but with these short stories… you only spend about one class discussing each one. I felt a little out of step for a while because, at Winsor, we are constantly moving from novel to novel, usually long ones, including our summer reading book Into the Wild…I would’ve preferred to have either read The Scarlet Letter or just a longer work from any of the authors we had excerpts from.”

“Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter  should  not  have  been  removed  from  the  curriculum. I think that it is a really important book in that it informed a lot of future American literature.”

“Personally, I thought The Scarlet Letter was a great book for the Class VI US literature class. In retrospect, it was definitely a tough read but my annotating and analytic abilities became much better by being able to understand a complex text. I think that the sophomores should read it. It’s just one of those books that is, one, a big part of American literature and, two, a great opportunity for learning.”