This Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Edition™ includes a glossary and reader’s notes to help the modern reader contend with Hawthorne’s complex approach to the human condition. Arguably Nathaniel Hawthorne’s most famous novel, The Scarlet Letter probes the very root of the age-old question, "What is good?" Can there be redemption in a society where the only good is the avoidance of sin? Through the characters of the beautiful and independent Hester Prynne, the pious yet guilt-ridden Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and the vengeance-obsessed Roger Chillingworth, Hawthorne explores the range of human response to sin and the deadly consequences of the inability to forgive oneself and others. In The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne peers into the shadows of the soul to reveal the doubt, fear, and guilt that, try as we might to deny them, form the foundations of our existence.