The Scarlet Letter (Anglais) Broché – 20 novembre 2009
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A throng of bearded men, in sad-colored garments, and gray, steeple-crowned hats, intermixed with women, some wearing hoods and others bareheaded, was assembled in front of a wooden edifice, the door of which was heavily timbered with oak, and studded with iron spikes.
The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison. In accordance with this rule, it may safely be assumed that the forefathers of Boston had built the first prison-house somewhere in the vicinity of Cornhill, almost as seasonably as they marked out the first burial-ground, on Isaac Johnson's lot, and round about his grave, which subsequently became the nucleus of all the congregated sepulchres in the old churchyard of King's Chapel. Certain it is, that, some fifteen or twenty years after the settlement of the town, the wooden jail was already marked with weather-stains and other indications of age, which gave a yet darker aspect to its beetle-browed and gloomy front. The rust on the ponderous iron-work of its oaken door looked more antique than anything else in the New World. Like all that pertains to crime, it seemed never to have known a youthful era. Before this ugly edifice, and between it and the wheel-track of the street, was a grass-plot, much overgrown with burdock, pigweed, apple-peru, and such unsightly vegetation, which evidently found something congenial in the soil that had so early borne the black flower of civilized society, a prison. But, on one side of the portal, and rooted almost at the threshold, was a wild rose-bush, covered, in this month of June, with its delicate gems, which might be imagined to offer their fragrance and fragile beauty to the prisoner as he went in, and to the condemned criminal as he came forth to his doom, in token that the deep heart of Nature could pity and be kind to him.
This rose-bush, by a strange chance, has been kept alive in history; but whether it had merely survived out of the stern old wilderness, so long after the fall of the gigantic pines and oaks that originally over-shadowed it,-or whether, as there is fair authority for believing, it had sprung up under the footsteps of the sainted Anne Hutchinson, as she entered the prison-door,-we shall not take upon us to determine. Finding it so directly on the threshold of our narrative, which is now about to issue from that inauspicious portal, we could hardly do otherwise than pluck one of its flowers, and present it to the reader. It may serve, let us hope, to symbolize some sweet moral blossom, that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow.
The grass-plot before the jail, in Prison Lane, on a certain summer morning, not less than two centuries ago, was occupied by a pretty large number of the inhabitants of Boston, all with their eyes intently fastened on the iron-clamped oaken door. Amongst any other population, or at a later period in the history of New England, the grim rigidity that petrified the bearded physiognomies of these good people would have augured some awful business in hand. It could have betokened nothing short of the anticipated execution of some noted culprit, on whom the sentence of a legal tribunal had but confirmed the verdict of public sentiment. But, in that early severity of the Puritan character, an inference of this kind could not so indubitably be drawn. It might be that a sluggish bond-servant, or an undutiful child, whom his parents had given over to the civil authority, was to be corrected at the whipping-post. It might be, that an Antinomian, a Quaker, or other heterodox religionist was to be scourged out of the town, or an idle and vagrant Indian, whom the white man's fire-water had made riotous about the streets, was to be driven with stripes into the shadow of the forest. It might be, too, that a witch, like old Mistress Hibbins, the bitter-tempered widow of the magistrate, was to die upon the gallows. In either case, there was very much the same solemnity of demeanor on the part of the spectators; as befitted a people amongst whom religion and law were almost identical, and in whose character both were so thoroughly interfused, that the mildest and the severest acts of public discipline were alike made venerable and awful. Meagre, indeed, and cold was the sympathy that a transgressor might look for from such by-standers, at the scaffold. On the other hand, a penalty, which, in our days, would infer a degree of mocking infamy and ridicule, might then be invested with almost as stern a dignity as the punishment of death itself.
It was a circumstance to be noted, on the summer morning when our story begins its course, that the women, of whom there were several in the crowd, appeared to take a peculiar interest in whatever penal infliction might be expected to ensue. The age had not so much refinement, that any sense of impropriety restrained the wearers of petticoat and farthingale from stepping forth into the public ways, and wedging their not unsubstantial persons, if occasion were, into the throng nearest to the scaffold at an execution. Morally, as well as materially, there was a coarser fibre in those wives and maidens of old English birth and breeding, than in their fair descendants, separated from them by a series of six or seven generations; for, throughout that chain of ancestry, every successive mother has transmitted to her child a fainter bloom, a more delicate and briefer beauty, and a slighter physical frame, if not a character of less force and solidity, than her own. The women who were now standing about the prison-door stood within less than half a century of the period when the man-like Elizabeth1 had been the not altogether unsuitable representative of the sex. They were her countrywomen; and the beef and ale of their native land, with a moral diet not a whit more refined, entered largely into their composition. The bright morning sun, therefore, shone on broad shoulders and well-developed busts, and on round and ruddy cheeks, that had ripened in the far-off island, and had hardly yet grown paler or thinner in the atmosphere of New England. There was, moreover, a boldness and rotundity of speech among these matrons, as most of them seemed to be, that would startle us at the present day, whether in respect to its purport or its volume of tone.
"Goodwives," said a hard-featured dame of fifty, "I'll tell ye a
piece of my mind. It would be greatly for the public behoof, if we women, being of mature age and church-members in good repute, should have the handling of such malefactresses as this Hester Prynne. What think ye, gossips? If the hussy stood up for judgment before us five, that are now here in a knot together, would she come off with such a sentence as the worshipful magistrates have awarded? Marry, I trow not!"
"People say," said another, "that the Reverend Master Dimmesdale, her godly pastor, takes it very grievously to heart that such a scandal should have come upon his congregation."
"The magistrates are God-fearing gentlemen, but merciful overmuch,--that is a truth," added a third autumnal matron. "At the very least, they should have put the brand of a hot iron on Hester Prynne's forehead. Madam Hester would have winced at that, I warrant me. But she,-the naughty baggage,-little will she care what they put upon the bodice of her gown! Why, look you, she may cover it with a brooch, or such like heathenish adornment, and so walk the streets as brave as ever!"
"Ah, but," interposed, more softly, a young wife, holding a child by the hand, "let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart."
"What do we talk of marks and brands, whether on the bodice of her gown, or the flesh of her forehead?" cried another female, the ugliest as well as the most pitiless of these self-constituted judges. "This woman has brought shame upon us all, and ought to die. Is there not law for it? Truly, there is, both in the Scripture and the statute-book. Then let the magistrates, who have made it of no effect, thank themselves if their own wives and daughters go astray!"
"Mercy on us, goodwife," exclaimed a man in the crowd, "is there no virtue in woman, save what springs from a wholesome fear of the gallows? That is the hardest word yet! Hush, now, gossips! for the lock is turning in the prison-door, and here comes Mistress Prynne herself."
The door of the jail being flung open from within, there appeared, in the first place, like a black shadow emerging into sunshine, the grim and grisly presence of the town-beadle, with a sword by his side, and his staff of office in his hand. This personage prefigured and represented in his aspect the whole dismal severity of the Puritanic code of law, which it was his business to administer in its final and closest application to the offender. Stretching forth the official staff in his left hand, he laid his right upon the shoulder of a young woman, whom he thus drew forward; until, on the threshold of the prison-door, she repelled him, by an action marked with natural dignity and force of character, and stepped into the open air, as if by her own free will. She bore in her arms a child, a baby of some three months old, who winked and turned aside its little face from the too vivid light of day; because its existence, heretofore, had brought it acquainted only with the gray twilight of a dungeon, or other darksome apartment of the prison.
When the young woman-the mother of this child-stood fully revealed before the crowd, it seemed to be her first impulse to clasp the infant closely to her bosom; not so much by an impulse of motherly affection, as that she might thereby conceal a certain token, which was wrought or fastened into her dress. In a moment, however, wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another, she took the baby on her arm, and, with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbors. On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold-thread, appeared the letter A. It was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that it had all the effect of a last and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore; and which was of a splendor in accordance with the taste of the age, but greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony.
The young woman was tall, with a figure of perfect elegance on a large scale. She had dark and abundant hair, so glossy that it threw off the sunshine with a gleam, and a face which, besides being beautiful from regularity of feature and richness of complexion, had the impressiveness belonging to a marked brow and deep black eyes. She was lady-like, too, after the manner of the feminine gentility of those days; characterized by a certain state and dignity, rather than by the delicate, evanescent, and indescribable grace, which is now recognized as its indication. And never had Hester Prynne appeared more lady-like, in the antique interpretation of the term, than as she issued from the prison. Those who had before known her, and had expected to behold her dimmed and obscured by a disastrous cloud, were astonished, and even startled, to perceive how her beauty shone out, and made a halo of the misfortune and ignominy in which she was enveloped. It may be true, that, to a sensitive observer, there was something exquisitely painful in it. Her attire, which, indeed, she had wrought for the occasion, in prison, and had modelled much after her own fancy, seemed to express the attitude of her spirit, the desperate recklessness of her mood, by its wild and picturesque peculiarity. But the point which drew all eyes, and, as it were, transfigured the wearer,-so that both men and women, who had been familiarly acquainted with Hester Prynne, were now impressed as if they beheld her for the first time,-was that Scarlet Letter, so fantastically embroidered and illuminated5 upon her bosom. It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and enclosing her in a sphere by herself.
"She hath good skill at her needle, that's certain," remarked one of her female spectators; "but did ever a woman, before this brazen hussy, contrive such a way of showing it! Why, gossips, what is it but to laugh in the faces of our godly magistrates, and make a pride out of what they, worthy gentlemen, meant for a punishment?"
"It were well," muttered the most iron-visaged of the old dames, "if we stripped Madam Hester's rich gown off her dainty shoulders; and as for the red letter, which she hath stitched so curiously, I'll bestow a rag of mine own rheumatic flannel, to make a fitter one!"
"Oh, peace, neighbors, peace!" whispered their youngest companion; "do not let her hear you! Not a stitch in that embroidered letter, but she has felt it in her heart."
The grim beadle now made a gesture with his staff.
"Make way, good people, make way, in the King's name!" cried he. "Open a passage; and, I promise ye, Mistress Prynne shall be set where man, woman, and child may have a fair sight of her brave apparel, from this time till an hour past meridian. A blessing on the righteous Colony of the Massachusetts, where iniquity is dragged out into the sunshine! Come along, Madam Hester, and show your scarlet letter in the market-place!" --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
Revue de presse
"Something might at last be sent to Europe as exquisite in quality as anything that had been received" (Henry James)
"No facile answers are provided here. Hester is, after all, guilty; Pearl the "Elfin" child, has devilish traits; the Puritans are given their due. Chillingworth and Dimmesdale are villains because of their hypocrisy but remain sympathetic because they are both self-destructive..." (Independent)
"A defiant adulteress; a community of hypocrites who force her to wear a scarlet letter A around her neck as a badge of her shame; an evil husband, secretly stoking the fires of their moral fervour until it reaches boiling point; and, finally, a stunning public confession in which the woman reveals the identity of her lover, who is then promptly sent to the gallows" (Sunday Times)
"In making fiction out of the excesses of his Puritan ancestors, Hawthorne anticipated the technique of a modern movie-director. He was a master of crowd scenes" (Financial Times) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
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We must keep in mind that the twelve gates of the messianic Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation are twelve pearls in a wall of jasper on twelve precious gem foundations:
18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. (King James Bible, Book of Revelation 21:18-21, [...])
Hence the child is the gate to this messianic Jerusalem that the Puritans pretended they were building in New England. Note the great pretention of these Puritans since this Jerusalem of the future has to be Messianic, has to be revealed by the Messiah, by Jesus, after his Second Coming and after the Apocalypse and the Last Judgment on Doomsday. This gives the fundamental meaning of the child in the book: She is a direct criticism of any puritan, moralistic, fundamentalist we would say today, approach of religion. Especially since this Pearl will disappear at the end of the book and will exist somewhere else that is not mentioned but we understand is England since Roger Chillingworth gave her land in America and in England. Anyway Boston was certainly not the Messianic Jerusalem the Puritans had in mind. And that rejection is based on the blasphemous character of this pretention. They made themselves a direct embodiment of Jesus Christ and God. They pretended they were Jesus Christ and God.
This is fundamental. The book was published in 1850 and when it appeared it was absolutely clear that there was no separation between the state and the church in the USA. There was no separation between the state and religion and this is still true. But at the time there was no separation of the state and the church, not one particular denominational church but the church in general: any one could be a member of the church of their choice, well within the limits of the area where they were living, residing and working, but the state was a direct emanation of the church in general, an abstract omni-denominational church that excluded the Jews and the Catholics. The exclusion of the Muslims was of course “natural.” The end of the book is typical: the new governor on Election Day had to be instated b y a sermon by the preacher and minister of the (only) local church. We must understand clearly that this story may be situated one century before or more, hence under English rule, but it is “revealed” to the public in 1850 and it is in phase with that public. That’s where the USA are coming from and how they accepted to be depicted in 1850.
The second element is that Pearl is seen as unchristian because she is born out of “fornication”, “adultery”, though in fact out of passion and love. This is clearly shown by the rejection this Pearl is forced to suffer along with her mother, as if this Pearl that should open onto the Messianic Jerusalem and the trees of life that bear twelve crops of fruit a year and whose leaves are the cure for the nations (which may imply all nations, at least all Christian nations in their diversity):
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. . (King James Bible, Book of Revelation 22:2-4, [...])
But this Boston could not be seen as such a Messianic Jerusalem since it was opening on the wilderness, or at best the ocean since this Pearl gate lived on a peninsula. There is no cure in Boston for those who are not perfect according to the decrees of the Puritans. There is no forgiveness, no tolerance, no freedom either there. One essential Christian value is missing and it is love. This story is a love story in Puritan garb or under Puritan duress. It is the glorification of love that is stronger than anything else, than any punishment, any estrangement, any rejection. Note, and it is only hinted at a few times, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale did not commit any sin against Roger Chillingworth since he had disappeared and had been “captured” by Indians and it was two years before he reappeared on Hester Prynne’s public exposition on the scaffold. The sin is in the fact they did not respect the proper rules like making their love public and sanctified by some marital rite. But love it is and it is clearly explained during the meeting of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale in the forest when they decide to go away from Boston.
It is important here to understand a common trick of the 19th century and the play on names.
Chillingworth is simple: he is bringing the chill of dying and death. He is worth the chilling experience of mental torture. Dimmesdale is also simple since he is a dale of dimmer existence and things, the dale of unpublicized love, the dale of secret penance and punishment. But Hester Prynne is quite another story.
We could be satisfied with the Biblical Book Esther and the Jewish character during the Babylonian exile who became queen and saved the Jewish people. She thus becomes the savior of the community of Boston, of the New Jerusalem, of the Puritans themselves. But that’s not enough. Hester comes from Oistir in Welsh and Irish tradition and has a Germanic origin where it is connected with a beech tree, and is a reduced Anglicized form of a Gaelic word, Ó hOistir ‘descendant of Oistir.’
This last element is complicated in Irish tradition: “** spl Ostuarii, doorkeeper to the monastery of Iona. The first of the family came over from Ireland with "Colum Cille," but causing the displeasure of that saint, he invoked a curse on him, by which it was decreed that never more than five of his clan should exist at the same time. Accordingly, when a sixth was born one of the five was to look for death, which always happened until the race was extinguished. A female who died about the middle of the 18th. century, in Iona, was the last person who could trace a lineage to the doorkeepers of this monastery.” [...]. Hester then would represent the end of an exclusion, the final redemption beyond the curse. Hence the Puritan tradition would be identified as a curse.
If we go back to the “beech” another connection has to be developed in the runic tradition, the runes of Germanic and Scandinavian origin vastly present in the Anglo-Saxon world, hence in the English heritage. Two runes refer to a beech tree, both meaning black. “Nauthiz” carries a bunch of key concepts: “Need, resistance, constraint, conflict, drama, effort, necessity, urgency, hard work, need-fire, life lessons, creative friction, distress, force of growth, the consequence of past action, short term pain for long term gain.” ([...]) “Peorth” carries a very dense meaning. It is the “rune of fate and the unmanifest. Rune of probability and the role of luck in the evolutionary process of the all things. Universe at play.” ([...]) This meaning gives Hester a tremendous power in the story. She is fate and she is going to bring down the Puritan dictatorship in the field of love, mental and sentimental freedom, and through her own daughter she will bring salvation, at least escape.
And her surname “Prynne” is also meaningful. The origin is Norman and the name was introduced by the Normans after Hastings ‘1066). “'Prin' is a 'descendant' of the Latin 'primus' meaning 'first' and it was given as a baptismal name to the first born male child of a family. Some learned academics of the 20th century have suggested that the name may be a nickname for one with 'lordly airs', but this seems unlikely. The similarity with the surnames 'Prince' (originally the French 'prins'), and 'Prime', which is directly from 'primus' cannot be avoided.” ([...], accessed December 29, 2016) Thus she is the person of first importance who is going to lead this Puritan settlement to salvation.
To go back to Pearl, she is also the symbol of what must go along with forgiveness and love, which is repentance, but not the repentance that is imposed as a punishment onto the “sinner”, but the repentance that comes from the soul, from God, from the heart. The book clearly shows that public – though here imposed – repentance is torture but a bearable torture that strengthens the victim of the punishment, whereas secret repentance is an unbearable self-inflicted torture that gnaws at the heart, the soul, and the body of the person who is refused the possibility of public repentance. At the same time the book hints at the possibility that Roger Chillingworth used his knowledge in plants to slowly poison Arthur Dimmesdale to satisfy his own vengeance.
And this is because there is no forgiveness in this society, no possibility for the sinner, no matter who he is and what position he holds, to be forgiven if he repairs the harm he has done, in this case if he marries the mother, since the husband of this mother had disappeared two years before and re-appear under another name. Pearl becomes the symbol of this forgiveness at the very end of the novel, the being who is willing to forgive publicly in front of those who had refused to forgive for more than seven years. That desire of hers to be held by the Minister in front of everyone, and her desire to hold the Minister in front of everyone and eventually to kiss him and let him kiss her was a constant demand from her to her mother.
In other words, Pearl becomes the signpost on the road to love and also some kind of angel or even archangel who shows the way to human salvation, and God's salvation is always on the side of repentance, reparation, forgiveness and love, never on the side of permanent or irreversible human punishment. In fact, the only judge is God, the only one who has the power to judge, what's more to try, is God, and God has entrusted humanity with the mission to enable sinners to repent and be forgiven, not to punish, or even torture or execute. This religious meaning is absolutely obvious all along and can only be the conclusion at the end. If Hester comes back to Boston it is to prove that the redemption has worked, that they have learned how to forgive the sins of others. Note it is never said or hinted that by forgiving the sins of others you open the ^possibility of your own sins to be forgiven by the same others. This egocentric way of forgiving is not Christian and is not envisaged I this book.
Pearl is thus the symbol of an open reading of the Gospels and in a way the signpost on the road to some better future for human beings on earth. This better future is definitely expressed by the post mortem contrition and repentance of Hester's first husband who adopts Pearl as his heiress, hence his own child. His repentance comes after seven years of vengeance, but it does come, and he is the only one to repent among the hostile people in Boston. Though the lack of hostility against Hester after her return seems to indicate the change has occurred, and Hester is there to remind everyone of the “episode” since she will be wearing her Scarlet Letter till death them does not part, in fact unites them forever.
If thus the sinners' child, Pearl, is redeemed at the end of the book and escapes the punishing Puritans, it is because she represents light, sunshine, God's illumination. She is the star that should lead us on the way to the future on earth and beyond: forgiveness and love, and we all must respect love as a divine and sacred value that is stronger than any law, rule, habit or custom, and the lack if not the refusal of respect for love is the direst and ugliest sin a human being, a creature of God can commit.
Hawthorne is the author that illuminates best the worst gothic context and produces a shiny romance with the darkest and bleakest material. And this romance becomes the testimony that in the middle of the 19th century a change was taking place in the USA: the recognition of the freedom to love not as a simple Christian obligation but as a human dimension. And this emphasis shows a debate at the time not only on love and society but on the concept of God himself.
The concept of God is ever present but never really expressed and specified in words. Not one single sermon by Arthur Dimmesdale is ever given. The final Election Sermon is only indirectly evoked. The concept of God obviously is that of the punishing God of the Puritans founded on the vision of Him we can get in many biblical texts or many Christian or non-Christian documents from the first century CE, after Jesus' death, from the Dead Sea Scrolls for instance. This very strict respect of the Law and its requirements has always survived in Christianity as a dark background for many centuries and then as a reference when Puritanism emerged as a religion per se.
One is pure or one isn't. If one is pure, one must not in any way live with someone who is not pure and if someone is not pure the community of the pure ones (that does not include the non-pure ones who are expelled from the community itself) has to reject him or her, and that rejection must become God's punishment, in no way human but entirely divine. This punishment has to be both public and totally interiorized. And here is one of the most important theme of the novel: Hester can satisfy these two characteristics with the scarlet letter and her interiorization of her « sin ». But her lover who is condemned by her (is it only her or do they agree on that point?) to remain unknown can only be punished inside his own self, hence he can only punish himself.
This excuses the « husband » who will avenge himself on this lover because this « husband » will become the punishing tool used by God, and yet the interiorization of the punishment by the lover himself will enable him to evade and escape the vengeance of this “husband” by making his sin, his contrition and his reparation public on the scaffold with Hester and Pearl, and the “husband” will in the end be frustrated of his vengeance and punished in his turn. Is that God's punishment?
Yet there is another concept of God that is emerging and ever present in the novel. It is the concept of a God of love. Love is threefold in this perspective. It is sensual first and it may lead to sin when it is not controlled and when it breaks a moral rule. Then it is love coming from human reason which may lead to insanity when a social reasonable rule is broken and no repair can be found, and there is no repair except through a social punishment that does not repair anything but is a repayment for the unreasonable fault. Finally, it is also spiritual and in this dimension love becomes Christian because it leads to forgiveness and love for one's enemies and love beyond mistakes and faults.
This love calls for repentance but not for punishment, at least not in the hands of men. Repentance is a great privilege for someone who « sins » but repentance has to be public in order to lead to forgiveness. If there is no forgiveness in society their God is not a really Christian God. If there is no repentance on the side of the “sinner” he or she is not Christian since she or he refuses to be forgiven or he or she makes forgiveness impossible. We can see that Hester in her repentance leads the whole community to forgiving her, whereas Arthur, her lover, not being able to repent publicly, is forced to repent in silence in his own soul without any possible forgiveness from anyone.
If there is no forgiveness there is no salvation possible, there is no Christian solution.
This leads to the ending of this book: Arthur is literally forced to live his repentance as a slow sacrifice in the eyes of God: he has to die to redeem himself, his society, Hester and Pearl, to « crucify » himself on the scaffold with his women at his feet.
But what about Hester who needs in the novel Arthur's sacrifice to be fully redeemed?
And what about Pearl who can only find the strength to kiss her father, hence to forgive him, hence to love him, when the sacrifice comes to its end?
Is Hester vain and selfish in her human love for Arthur by condemning him to suffer in silence?
Is Pearl beyond any Christian definition in her incapability to love her father except when it is too late to save him?
Is the romance a condemnation of puritanism and a vindication of human sensuality and sensitivity as the only way to redeem humanity?
Is the concept of God limited in time and space? And then is the future godless?
These questions that you are free to answer the way you want are showing a tremendous turning point has been reached in American history and probably in human history. But the point that has to be made is that hardly ten years later history will completely put this perspective upside down. Indians are seen as marginal or rejected to the wild forest in this book with the distant and undescribed exception of Apostle Eliot and his Indian converts who live far away from Boston. But slaves are not even mentioned, not even as indentured workers who were common in New England at the time of the story. And history will come back on this emerging love concept with the Civil War and one extra century of segregation and an unspecified number of decades more of PTSS, and we have not reached the end of this long-lasting hatred and un-forgiveness and lack of justice.
The freedom of love is maybe not that simple to develop in any society, human society, meaning a society torn between the two sides of man, or woman as for that, the loving nature of human beings some call libido and the death instinct often articulated on the survival instinct of the human species. But yet it is the first expression of the freedom of love in modern society, and as such it is just as dramatic as Romeo and Juliet, but it is also maybe less tragic. There is hope somewhere in this story, whereas I don’t see any in Romeo and Juliet.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU