The Scarlet Letter is a romantic work of fiction in a historical setting, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is considered to be his magnum opus. Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an adulterous affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.Hester is rejected by the villagers even though she spends her life helping the sick and the poor and doing what she could to help them. Because they rejected her, she spent her life mostly in solitude, and wouldn't go to church. As a result, she retreats into her own mind and her own thinking. Her thoughts begin to stretch and go beyond what would be considered by the Puritans as safe or even Christian. Her thinking is free from religious bounds and she has established her own, different moral standards and beliefs.