The Scarlet Letter — страница 2

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make itself seen or felt.” Though Hester is not dead, not a spirit, she believes “it is an inevitable fatality?[of] human beings to linger around and haunt ghostlike, the spot where some great marked event has given color to their lifetime.” She remains like a phantom, though she is still flesh and blood. Hester?s banishment and constant solitude cause her to lose confidence in herself. She wants to leave but she cannot. She lacks too much trust in her own good judgment to leave her lover, the only friend she may still have. Though she is free to leave the town , “hide her character and identify under a new exterior” she has to stay by her lover to whom “she deemed herself connected in a union.” She hopes that, though they are unrecognized on earth, once dead they

will be joined at the “marriage altar” of “final judgment” and will have a “joint futurity of endless retribution.” Hester doesn?t have enough confidence to strike out on her own, she feels she needs to stay to repent for her sin, “the scene of her guilt” being the unrelenting “scene of her earthly punishment” and cannot get on with her life. The young mother?s “sin, her ignominy, were roots which she had struck into the soil.” Besides struggling with her own self doubt, Hester deals with a loss of confidence in other people as well, and becomes distrustful of human nature. She develops a strange apprehension of her surroundings, a desperation in her soul, saddened by the bleak attitude others express towards her, she is constantly suspicious of everyone?s

opinions of her. When Hester ventures into town to sell her wares, she feels “the silence of those with whom she came in contact?often expressed that she was banished.” She imagines she is a repulsive outcast, taunted by the laughter of children and torn by the frigid stares of passersby. Hester believes that as she walks the streets the “preacher[s] and moralist[s]” point at her to “embody their images of women?s? sinful passion.” Hester?s hopelessness at her situation leads her to lose faith in other human beings. She commences to believe that all other humans are guilty of some sin, that they share a common thread. She feels “the cold stare of familiarity” when some look at her and sometimes the lonely woman “felt an eye ?upon the…brand?that seemed to give

a momentary relief as if half her agony was shared.” Hester has certainly misplaced what faith she had in others as their “outward guise of purity was but a lie, and that, if the truth were?to be shown, a scarlet letter would blaze forth on many a bosom besides [her own].” Sadly Hester?s loss of assurance in the goodness of mankind isolates her further from her community because she is no longer part of their kinship. Hester, for committing the terrible crime of adultery, receives the ignominious brand of outcast. Forced to wear a permanent reminder of her sin, she becomes detached from the only home she knows and loses her conviction in all that is moral and unsullied. Wherever she goes, she is estranged, her mind tormented, driven to the very brink of insanity. Hester not

only dismisses all thoughts of mirth and happiness that threaten to trespass through the doors of her home, but she conjures up images to torment her soul. She is bound by no earthly bonds, but by the manacles in her mind. The poor girl is left without a friend in the world and her trust in humans falters and becomes tainted. Her self confidence is a shattered mess as well. Because of her psychological alienation Hester?s outlook on life has become a murky pit with no hope of escape and no optimism for the future.