Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The scarlet letter: A critical review

Littlefield, David; Sara, Rachel

The scarlet letter: A critical review Thumbnail


Rachel Sara


© Bloomsbury 2014. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s nineteenth-century romance The Scarlet Letter centers on the simple transgression of adultery and its social consequences. Hawthorne’s narrative and storytelling skill, however, are far from simple; the author manages to subtly and cleverly set the tale within a framework of other transgressions. Ideas of space and other social constructions, including language and belief systems, are tested and subverted in this description of a seventeenthcentury Puritan settlement. In this article David Littlefield and Rachel Sara critically analyze this classic American text to build an original argument that identifies the multiple forms of transgression outlined within the text. This argument is explored within the context of the theme “Body + Space” and innovatively demonstrates how the book pre-figures much twentieth-century thinking on the subject.


Littlefield, D., & Sara, R. (2014). The scarlet letter: A critical review. Architecture and Culture, 2(3), 403-416.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Jul 1, 2014
Online Publication Date Apr 28, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date Feb 18, 2016
Publicly Available Date May 1, 2016
Journal Architecture and Culture
Print ISSN 2050-7828
Electronic ISSN 2050-7836
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 3
Pages 403-416
Keywords body, space, transgression, fiction, text, language
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Architecture & Culture is a journal produced on behalf of the Architectural Humanities Research Association. Originally it was published by Bloomsbury. It is now published by Taylor & Francis. The issue of the journal outlined here was jointly edited by David Littlefield and Rachel Sara, published by Bloomsbury. This is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Architecture & Culture on 01 November 2014, available online:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations