I’d asked my goddaughter and her hubby to gift me a few of the literary classics for Christmas. They gifted me “Huckleberry Finn,” “Pride and Prejudice,” and Nate Hawthorne’s ”The Scarlet Letter.” For the fourth book in my 2012 read list, I choose to read “The Scarlet Letter.” It was due time I caught up on my 9th grade reading.
Nate’s gem is about choices. You make them, you live, and sometimes die by them.
In the book you see how a gal and a minister together made a choice against the grain of society back in 1642, when their choice was treated as a crime. The same choice today is most usually treated as tawdry recreation.
Hawthorne’s book illustrates how the choice affected the women and minister, how they dealt with it individually, together, and how a couple other folks close to the situation, plus the town, dealt with them separately. It’s written in what I’d call Old World speak, but don’t let that scare you off. I found and enjoyed a reading rhythm after a chapter or two; you’ll find and enjoy it sooner.
It’s a good one this “The Scarlet Letter”. Read it. We’re all nuts when it comes to personally dealing with morals. I wonder, do we choose to be moral because it matters what others think of us? Do we choose morality because of how we’d like to think of ourselves? Or, do we choose to be moral because it’s a good thing to be?
I dream a lot. Many of the dreams aren’t restful. In these dreams I’m often challenged to overcome something, like climbing a mountain with a broken ankle, or getting through the gauntlet of wild bandits who happen to be folks I know.
A friend of mine said those dreams come from unresolved guilt. Could be. But if he’s right, I can rest assured I’ve not done too much un moral in my life up to this point. If I had, my guilt wouldn’t just rear it’s head during sleep, it would also bother me during the day, and I’m rarely bothered during the day. I’ll take guilty dreams over guilty waking hours any day.
Rusty DeWees tours Vermont and Northern New York with his act “The Logger.” His column appears weekly.