An "A" for "adultery" marks Hester Prynne as an outcast from the society of colonial Boston. Although forced by the puritanical town fathers to wear a badge of shame, Hester steadfastly resists their efforts to discover the identity of her baby's father. Masterful in its symbolism and compelling in its character studies, Nathaniel Hawthorne's tale of punishment and reconciliation examines the concepts of sin, guilt, and pride. The Scarlet Letter was published to immediate acclaim in 1850. Its timeless exploration of moral and spiritual issues, along with its philosophical and psychological insights, keep it ever relevant for students of American literature and lovers of fiction. A definitive survey, this Dover Thrift Study Edition offers the novel's complete and unabridged text, plus a comprehensive study guide. Created to help readers gain a thorough understanding of the content and context of The Scarlet Letter, the guide includes: • Chapter-by-chapter summaries • Explanations and discussions of the plot • Question-and-answer sections • Hawthorne biography • List of characters and more Dover Thrift Study Editions feature everything that students need to undertake a confident reading of a classic text, as well as to prepare themselves for class discussions, essays, and exams. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.