Alright, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, so please don’t hate me. We’ve been reading The Scarlet Letter in English, and even thought it’s a little confusing sometimes, I really, really like it. The whole theme of it is really interesting, especially the individual versus community aspect. It’s almost like a Supreme Court trial, like Hester v. Salem, or something. So, as I’ve done for the books before, I’ve found a few quotes so far that I feel are incredibly beautiful just in their phrasing and timeless meaning.
I really love this fragment because I feel like I can relate to it pretty well. If you have learned anything about me, it’s that I’m a very anxious, very paranoid person and I am very thorough with it. By this, I mean that if I am partially worried about something, I will literally not rest until it’s turned into a full-blown fear.
For example: My number one fear, at the moment, of course, is being raped. Up until now, I have never actually heard “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke because I am so afraid. My mom was watching this fictional show about this expert behavioral psychologist that could read facial expressions and one of his cases was about this girl in the army that was relaying her experiences with the more sex-offending men. I hate running, but I left that room so fast that it created a draft. And yet, my ears were straining to hear her, even beyond two closed doors.
That’s why I love this quote – because I am a victim of my own mind, and the only way I can ever truly be in a healthy place is if my mind stops thinking. Obviously, I can’t stop thinking, so the relief is only momentary and fleeting, but it never really stops thinking because I’m tricking myself. There’s always something to worry about, but I have to pretend there isn’t.
This next quote is something I feel like I’ve talked about a lot. I’ve always dreamed about giving a message or a speech or doing something that inspires people; doing something that rouses their minds and their spirits.
If you remember this picture from an earlier post, I think I talked about how I almost cried at the Demi Lovato concert just because I was there. Demi Lovato is such an icon and a role model for so many people. And I don’t really know if it was because her voice is so phenomenal, or because of the hundreds of other people who felt the same way I did, or because I’d never really have an experience quite like that again.
This quote I really love just because I’m a huge fan of drastic contrast. Trust me, no one loves polar extremes more than I do, and this quote is just filled with them.
- “Young and pure” versus “the figure, the body, the reality of sin”
- “the child of honorable parents” versus “the mother of a babe, that would hereafter be a woman” versus “who had once been innocent”
There’s just something about extremes that for some odd reason, gets me really excited. I guess it’s because I’m pretty extreme myself; it’s always all or nothing for me. But it really talks about the whole motif of community versus individual.
Hester Prynne, after the whole scandal, is pretty much alone is her town, and forces herself to stay as a self-punishment, on top of the ridiculing and prison time. Her decision strengthens her identity as an individual, even if it also defines her in the eyes of the community. It seems that to most people a community is stronger than an individual, but when it comes to taking a stand, the individual is always more powerful and more moving than the mob-mentality of the community. It takes a community to make a change, but it takes only an individual to want a change.
In this case, Hester is the individual and she chooses to look beyond her “identity” in her society, and go beyond to use her skills as an embroiderer. As she does this, the people of Salem also see that Hester has further potential than an adulterer, and begin to revalue her as a person.
I guess this post didn’t really talk about the “story so far” as the title implies, but it talks about my story; it talks about my personal journey through the novel, and that’s the story so far.