Examine The Scarlet Letter as an open ended novel.
The Scarlet Letter – After many days, when the people could coordinate their ideas about the scene that we have just referred, there was more than one version of what had happened on the pillory stage.
Most of the spectators claimed to have seen printed on the flesh of the chest of the unhappy minister a SCARLET LETTER, which was the exact reproduction of the one that Esther had in the dress. Regarding its origin several explanations were given, all of which were simply conjectures. Some claimed that the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale, on the same day that Ester Prynne first brought his ignominious currency, had begun a series of penances, which he then continued in various ways, imposing himself a horrible bodily torture. Others claimed that the stigma had not occurred until much later, when old Rogerio Chillingworth, who was a powerful necromancer, made her appear with her magical arts and poisonous drugs. Others had, and these were the most appropriate to appreciate the exquisite sensitivity of the minister and the wonderful influence exerted by his spirit on his body, who thought that the terrible symbol was the effect of the constant and rodent remorse that was lodged in the most intimate of the heart, manifesting at last the inexorable judgment of Heaven by the visible presence of the letter. The reader can choose between these theories that he likes the most.
It is singular, however, that several individuals, who were spectators of the whole scene, and claimed not to have taken a moment away from the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale, absolutely denied that any sign had been seen in his chest. And judging by what these same people said, the dying man’s last words did not admit, not even remotely, that there had been, on his part, the slightest connection with the fault that forced Esther to carry the letter for so long. scarlet. According to these witnesses, worthy of the greatest respect and consideration, the minister, who was aware that he was dying and also that the reverence of the crowd placed him already among the number of saints and angels, had, desired, exhaling the last breath. in the arms of the fallen woman, to express before the face of the world how completely vain was what is called virtue and perfection of man. After the end of his life with his efforts for the spiritual good of humanity, he had turned his way of dying into a kind of living parable, in order to impress in the minds of his admirers the powerful and sad teaching, which, compared with Infinite Purity, we are all equally sinful; to teach them also that the most immaculate among us, has only been able to rise above his fellowmen what is necessary to discern with greater clarity the mercy that contemplates us from above, and repudiate more absolutely the phantom of human merit that directs his glances upwards. Without wanting to dispute the truth of this assertion, we should be allowed to consider this version of Mr. Dimmesdale’s story, only as an example of the tenacious fidelity with which a man’s friends, and especially an ecclesiastic, defend their reputation, even when proofs as clear as the midday sun illuminating the scarlet letter, proclaim him an earthly creature, false and tainted with sin.