The Scarlet Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
In the puritanical Boston of the 17th Century, a woman gives birth after committing adultery. That woman, Hester Prynne, choses to create a new life for herself in the face of adversity rather than succumb to what is expected of her. She will not name the father. Her decision opens up the tension between religious life and the true grace of God, and between personal guilt, religious sin and legal guilt.