I will say, in their favor, that I love Lois Lenski's illustrations. And perhaps Lovelace is one of those authors that needs to be read as a child. As an adult, I haven't found a new favorite.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I will bore no one here with a summary of a story you are already perfectly familiar with. These are just my reactions to rereading a classic American novel eight or ten years after my first encounter with it in my early teens.
Let me further preface the statements below with the confession that, while I read The Scarlet Letter at the guidance of the Reading to Know bookclub, I failed in my efforts to finish the book in the time given - and, even a week after the ending date, I am still 80 pages from the end. That being said, my thoughts thus far may be altered somewhat when I do finish it. But if my memory serves me rightly, I think my reaction will not be greatly altered.
There are, however, two instances in which a character attempts to make intervention on the behalf of another. The first, and lesser of these, is when the magistrate and townspeople consider whether it would be better for Hester’s child, Pearl, to be taken out of her mother’s care and given to more Christian parents to be raised and catechized – but Hester vehemently argues against this, and even calls Dimmesdale to speak for her. The two of them convince the magistrate that Pearl is best off with her natural mother.
The second instance is when Hester approaches her husband, Chillingworth, with regard to his treatment of Dimmesdale. She speaks out of a sense of duty to the tormented minister, feeling she is somehow responsible for his woeful circumstances. I would disagree with her, it is much more his own doing than hers – they sinned together, but he refused to stand beside her in receiving judgement and punishment. What does she owe him? Is it out of some remnant of romantic feeling she has for him – although, oddly, this is a point on which the book is entirely silent.