Although it may have excited audiences at the time of its publication, I do not believe it has any place in modern society. Therefore I don't believe that it should be a part of the school syllabus today. Apart from Hawthorn's vapid writing style, he also loses the reader's interest by the use of some carelessly unrealistic scenes.
The first of these was when Chillingworth supposedly realized that Dimmesdale was suffering from guilt rather than some disease. When the pastor spoke he often clasped his chest with his hand, as if he were suffering from great pain. While the clergyman was asleep one night, Chillingworth glanced at his chest. Seeing no obvious physical problem, he took this as conclusive evidence that the man was suffering from guilt, and therefore was the father of Pearl.
This segment is horribly unrealistic. Even a person of extremely low intelligence knows that you don't need visible infection to suffer severe chest pains. I believe that he used this example because he didn't have the creativity, or literary skill to think up a realistic way for Chillingworth to discover the adulter's identity.
The second example of his slander of the laws of science, was in his description of the falling meteor. He stated that the falling meteor formed a giant red "A" in the sky. I may not be an expert astronomer, but I do know that meteorites do not leave lasting scarlet trails. Usually they appear as what are commonly know as "shooting stars", which are very bright, and show only as a small white streak. Therefore once again Hawthorn is writing his own version of reality.
On top of all these flaws, the book is written in a style that could put anyone to sleep. It should be sold with caffeine tablets simply to keep...