Apparently cowardice is NOT a sin

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EL266: American Lit

Okay, I first read this a long time ago, and really, really, really hated it.

Now I'm actually enjoying, which is nice, though its slightly spoiled by knowing the plot already. SO, if you don't know the story, and don't want any of the suspense ruined, don't read my blogs....I let things slip.


"Take heed how thou deniest to him--who, perchance, hath not the courageto grasp it for himself--the bitter, but wholesome, cup that is now presented to thy lips!" -- (63)

Translation: I am so spineless and pathetic that the only way I'm taking any heat is if you rat me out.

While it may seem like Dimmesdale is giving her an oppurtunity to rat on him, this isn't really the case. The ONLY time anyone (with half a brain) EVER suggests that someone should harm him, is to look pathetic and humble, so they that they'll do the opposite out of pity. It's always harder to choose to let someone else suffer when they clarify it as your choice, and then invite you to do it. Surrender is a powerful tactic. By placing power over you in the hands of another you can often envoke mercy. Hester would have been WAY more likely to talk if he had snuck over to the jail and said, "seriously, you better not rat me out. This is your fault."

Still, he really should have just admitted before being caught, perhaps after spending a month giving a whole lotta sermons on forgiveness and mercy, and told the story of Jesus saving that one harlot from stoning several times.

Alternatively, they could have fled to another colony, and pretended to be married. It was the 1600's. As a priest, he could have even made a legit marriage license, using aliases, and the "Smith" family could have lived happily ever after.

Since he just sits back, and lets her take all the heat he annoys me.

On another note, I hadn't previously picked up on all the really, really obvious foreshadowing, like Hester catching Dimmesdale's eye, and saying her daughter will have a "heavenly father." I have no idea how I initially missed that.

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