Question: English & Literature

"The scarlet letter had endowed her with a new sense." Explain this, using textual evidence to show what this means?
In English & Literature | Asked by Abrahamgunit
Asked from the The Scarlet Letter study pack
Answers

the lower class of the town started a rumor that the letter A glowed red as she walked abroad at night. This is a glowing example of how metaphor can often cross over into reality in the form of mythic stories.

[page 93] The vulgar, who, in those dreary old times, were always contributing a grotesque horror to what interested their imaginations, had a story about the scarlet letter which we might readily work up into a terrific legend. They averred, that the symbol was not mere scarlet cloth, tinged in an earthly dye-pot, but was red-hot with infernal fire, and could be seen glowing all alight, whenever Hester Prynne walked abroad in the night-time. And we must needs say, it seared Hester's bosom so deeply, that perhaps there was more truth in the rumor than our modern incredulity may be inclined to admit.

adisa101 | 1691 days ago

The 'vulgar' people that the above referenced doesn't mean the peasants of the town gossiped (they all did that). It means that the mean spirited people, the gossips, the people who enjoyed stirring the sensational, perpetuated the thrill of it by making up grotesque rumors about Hester and the 'A' on her dress. In a Puritan society where discipline, plainness, and strict adherence to rules were a norm, someone who went against those norms was interesting and exciting.

MHood2 | 853 days ago