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OT: The Scarlet Letter

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    #46
    Re: OT: The Scarlet Letter

    Refresh my memory....did Hester wear a wedding ring? As in, had she been assumed by the community to be a married woman prior to the events of the plot? I can't remember, and I did not have a chance to reread...so i have just been lurking because I love the book. (Hasn't been THAT long...had it in school with oldest just a year or two ago)

    My take on it is that Dimmesdale could not bring himself to rectify the situation principally because of the guilt of his unconfessed sin. He may have thought Hester was married but her husband was missing (I can't remember now), or simply the sin of giving in to temptation outside of marriage would be "enough" for him to feel as though he had disgraced both of them. In this way he is the embodiment of Puritan legalism and scrupulosity.

    I think Hester did repent; she was simply able to live with it better because she did not have to hide it - her son was "confessed" in a way because the results of it were so obvious. It is the fact of hiding sin that lets it eat away at us, as Dimmesdale shows.

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2020-2021
    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
    DS, 17
    DD, 15
    DD, 13
    DD, 11
    DD, 9
    DD, 7
    +DS+
    DS, 2

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      #47
      Re: OT: The Scarlet Letter

      Originally posted by tanya View Post
      They are still married, but no one in the village knows it. But Chillingworth was gone so long that Hester probably thought he was dead! That doesn't excuse her sleeping with Dimmesdale, but it doesn't seem as bad as if she thought it was adultery. Which brings up another point: If Chillingworth was missing for 7 years, why didn't Hester and Dimmesdale just get married? Then what would have happened when Chillingworth reappeared? That would be a totally different book.

      Tanya
      1) She was known to be married. Her family/husband (?) had sent her in ahead to Massachusetts so her husband could stay behind and attend to his studies (in England? In another colony? I don’t remember.). He was assumed captured and killed by Indians, by Hester and everyone else. Adultery was her sin simply because it was an act outside of marriage (?). That was my take. (Somebody find Kyle! He knows all this stuff!)
      2) Dimmesdale committed himself to unmarried celibacy, even though it was not required. He felt as if he failed God on two counts — adultery and celibacy. Thus he could not marry Hester after the fact. First: it would bring scandal on the Church. Second: it would likely have meant his giving up his priesthood. Third: He would have openly defaulted on his vow of celibacy. So he lived with the guilt.
      “If I should fall even a thousand times a day, a thousand times, with peaceful repentance, I will say immediately, Nunc Coepi, ‘Now, I begin.’.”

      ~Venerable Bruno Lanteri
      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Wonder Boy 14 ...MP4 + R&S 5 Math
      Joy Bubble 12 ...MP4
      Cowboy 9 ...MP4 + R&S Math 3
      Sassafras 5 ...MPK

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        #48
        Re: OT: The Scarlet Letter

        Originally posted by tanya View Post
        They are still married, but no one in the village knows it. But Chillingworth was gone so long that Hester probably thought he was dead! That doesn't excuse her sleeping with Dimmesdale, but it doesn't seem as bad as if she thought it was adultery. Which brings up another point: If Chillingworth was missing for 7 years, why didn't Hester and Dimmesdale just get married? Then what would have happened when Chillingworth reappeared? That would be a totally different book.

        Tanya
        Yes, I was curious about how they lived for YEARS within eyeshot and seemed to only speak once every few years (HP and AD). At the very end...spoiler....space down


        .
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        .
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        In that last moment was wondering if the townspeople might be thinking that Arthur was going to her, as in the parable some thought they saw unfolding, to take her and Pearl to himself in some act of redemption, the pious clergyman taking the once-fallen women as his wife. Of course, AD knows she's married and that Chillingsworth is alive, but the town doesn't. He suffers privately the entire time but only publicly for a few moments. It reminded me of the workers who get the same wages even though some had to toil in the heat of day and others showed up right before dinner.

        Tanya, did you all discuss whose sin/s was/were most grievous? I know that's not generally a healthy conversation to be having (haha!), but in literature I think it's interesting. Of course, the entire backdrop is a town full of humans who sin. That probably stood out to me foremost: the obvious fact that everyone in the story sins, but only a few (mostly Hester) are selected for public punishment. Is Hester's only sin adultery? (of course not) Is anyone's sin only one thing? (no)

        This is written quickly--I apologize in advance for any messes. Just happy to be finished and reflecting with you all!
        Festina lentē,
        Jessica P

        2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
        DS 12th • HLN, Latin online, DE math/sci - Headed to Hillsdale College next fall
        DD 10th • HLN, Latin online
        DD 7th • HLN & Home
        DS 4th • HLN & Home
        Me • Memoria College, this summer: MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

        Teaching TFL and co-directing @
        Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

        Comment


          #49
          Re: OT: The Scarlet Letter

          Originally posted by Anita View Post
          1) She was known to be married. Her family/husband (?) had sent her in ahead to Massachusetts so her husband could stay behind and attend to his studies (in England? In another colony? I don’t remember.). He was assumed captured and killed by Indians, by Hester and everyone else. Adultery was her sin simply because it was an act outside of marriage (?). That was my take. (Somebody find Kyle! He knows all this stuff!)
          2) Dimmesdale committed himself to unmarried celibacy, even though it was not required. He felt as if he failed God on two counts — adultery and celibacy. Thus he could not marry Hester after the fact. First: it would bring scandal on the Church. Second: it would likely have meant his giving up his priesthood. Third: He would have openly defaulted on his vow of celibacy. So he lived with the guilt.
          Yes, thank you - that was the refresher I needed.
          AMDG,
          Sarah
          Last edited by KF2000; 12-13-2017, 01:32 PM.
          2020-2021
          16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
          DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
          DS, 17
          DD, 15
          DD, 13
          DD, 11
          DD, 9
          DD, 7
          +DS+
          DS, 2

          Comment


            #50
            Re: OT: The Scarlet Letter

            Originally posted by Anita View Post
            1) She was known to be married. Her family/husband (?) had sent her in ahead to Massachusetts so her husband could stay behind and attend to his studies (in England? In another colony? I don’t remember.). He was assumed captured and killed by Indians, by Hester and everyone else. Adultery was her sin simply because it was an act outside of marriage (?). That was my take. (Somebody find Kyle! He knows all this stuff!)
            If Chillingsworth would have been dead, then her sin would have been fornication, right? The scarlet "F" doesn't pack the same punch though. Because they gave her the "A" I assumed that meant they all thought her husband lived. Poor girl. Her former life sounds miserable. Was Chillingsworth's former name Prynne? He never told that I noticed. Did they change their names then? I don't know.

            I was constantly wondering how in the world two people like Arthur and Hester (at least the versions we meet all these years later) ever had the inclination or opportunity (everyone is so nosey! no one is ever alone...) to commit this act in the first place. And was it only once, or an ongoing relationship? No details. Just little Pearl.

            Lastly, the split second decision of Chillingsworth to conceal himself in the moment of his return was, well, chilling. Who can calculate that quickly? Creepy.
            Festina lentē,
            Jessica P

            2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
            DS 12th • HLN, Latin online, DE math/sci - Headed to Hillsdale College next fall
            DD 10th • HLN, Latin online
            DD 7th • HLN & Home
            DS 4th • HLN & Home
            Me • Memoria College, this summer: MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

            Teaching TFL and co-directing @
            Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

            Comment


              #51
              Re: OT: The Scarlet Letter

              I love it! The Scarlet Letter would be F! You are right!

              I think there was something that made it obvious that it was a one-time event, but I can't remember where it is.

              Tanya

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