The first time I read The Scarlet Letter, I was unimpressed. I was fifteen years old, and sitting in a stuffy classroom, dreaming of being anyplace but in my English class. Nothing can kill a great work of literature quicker than being forced to listen to the droning voice of an exhausted high school teacher as she dissects each word and phrase, laying out all the little pieces of meaning for us to observe. It was almost physically painful to sit through.
Decades later, I came across a copy of The Scarlet Letter, lying on a “free” table in the laundry room where I live, and decided to give the book another try.