• It's Nathaniel Hawthorne Month in English. Poor Nathaniel. Does he know what they've done to him? We're reading The Scarlet Letter one sentence at a time, tearing it up and chewing on its bones. It's all about SYMBOLISM, says Hairwoman. Every word chosen by Nathaniel, every comma, every paragraph break -- these were all done on purpose. To get a decent grade in her class, we have to figure out what he was really trying to say. Why couldn't he just say what he meant? Would they pin scarlet letters on his chest? B for blunt, S for straightforward?