I'm not completely sure why this book is considered a classic. Honestly, half the book isn't even necessary. Hawthorne could have condensed this novel into one of his famous short stories. Hawthorne is too wordy and descriptive, and he uses the same words over and over again (i.e., "ignominy," "epoch"). The timeline is choppy. However, the story does have a strong plot. Some readers may claim it is difficult to read, and it is, but if you have ever read out of the King James Bible, then it is very similar.