I’ve mentioned before that authors choose their characters’ names very carefully, researching them like they would for their own children. These offspring of the imagination need a name that edifies the reader about their traits, either in agreement or contradiction.
Last weekend I read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. I haven’t read it since college, and although I remember the plot well enough that I was shocked and dismayed by the movie version a few years ago, I had lost some of the finer points. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish reading until moments before book club, and I didn’t get a chance to do some of the research I’d like to have done on the characters’ names. So I’ll do some of that exploration here.
The protagonist of the story, of course, is Hester Prynne. Her name is delightfully symbolic, though I can’t say I’ve ever seen reference to this…
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