After having a good laugh (in a good way, I promise) at Celine’s interpretation of Hester’s attire, scarlet letter and all, it occurred to me:  What would the contemporary Hester look like?  What would cause a member of our modern American society to be isolated and ridiculed as Hester was?  In a society in which our first assessment of an individual is often their physical appearance, what breach of accepted morality would cause one to be treated like Hester?  Because so many cultures and ethnic groups coexist in the United States, each with their own ideas about morality and rules of social conduct, it is hard for me to imagine one being forced to don an A, or being subject to isolation, for breaching American rules of conduct.  But in a society that is largely disensitized to the many ways in which we isolate and persecute others, I imagine that many Americans can identify personally, at least to some degree, with Hester’s experience.

-Melvyna

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