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The Scarlet Letter













Written by Ty Narada for J. Rodda

Pandora has two A’s

The Scarlet Letter was perhaps the most subversive presentation that I have ever seen with respect to sexual codes of morality. In my express opinion, the most hard-hitting and philosophically concrete moment was when H awoke to the perception that her ‘mark’ evoked in others; when she realized that her expose’ was, in fact, the unspoken ‘guilt’ of her community. That realization was, for me, the moral meat of the writer’s intention: Hypocrisy…contradictions, double standards, unattainable idealism vs. what we really are.

My conscious can imagine how many lives are utterly annihilated while in the pious pursuit [or deviance] of organized moral standards of every kind. The writer brought into view, a question far ahead of its time, about a truth as old as ‘time’, given that religion maintains an influential hold on power forever.

Why does any society penalize a member for honesty? How is virtue ascribed to a conformist or non-conformist reaction? In her case it wasn’t honesty, but the birth of her child that left little to doubt or to realize. The empty and the guilty demanded her condemnation to inflate the insatiable need for group superiority; insulation and protection from ‘the hunt’. Each member becomes brighter because a black mark dwells among them. The illusion becomes more vulgar when the self-proclaimed barers of judgement are, in fact, equal to the condemned: The Eye of God sees all. In their hearts, they too are under the scrutiny of His Eye.

In our dimension, "fear" has been the greatest creative force, only to counter its destructiveness.

Colonial ideology did not distinguish the ‘moral’ from the ‘theological’; nobody questioned the "theological morality." Their existed no programming for it. Even today, theology prescribes sexual conduct and invents sexual morality. Laws’ have not solved anomalies of this kind. ‘Semantics’ have little to do with the prevention of, and ‘Ethical standards’ equate to the grains of sand in existence. In the story, the adulteress and the Priest succumbed to personal values, which in the heat of passion, left evidence that could not be denied.

The writer chose to illustrate the stifling effect that global double standards cast upon the individual. Colonial Massachusetts was his romanticized platform. The concept can be expanded to represent 6 Billion people on Earth who are erroneously lumped into three categories that describe the whole of Human sexuality. We are afraid to remove the ‘fear’ factor, yet rationally thinking people know that this historically-founded and realistically-obscene belief can not, does not and never did reflect any part of reality at any time. Fiction is not how life is.

Whose gun perverted the ‘double standard’ into an irrevocable ‘truth’?

We are, at this precise moment in time, the culmination of our sensory perception. To describe the infinite layers, even to shallow depth for each, would be an impossible task; each spark of synapse would need to be recalled and examined in order to understand. Even the same words spoken in a commonly understood language convey altered images, connotations and meanings to each listener.

The Priest was the pillar and standard barer of his community, yet he was her masochist "partner in sin." To his own self he was true, but the double standard destroyed him. His peers destroyed him. What he taught destroyed him. Their strength propelled them. She became the most virtuous and legendary communal icon while he was the unreproachable word. The two greatest and most benevolent figures were the most reprehensible [by the communal ‘standard’]. She withheld his identity, and suffered the disfiguring of her soul to preserve the social integrity of the group. She produced a solution by compelling him to leave and start anew. Not until the Magistrate conspired to take away her child did she bare her teeth, and sub-textually induced her ‘partner’ (the Priest) to reverse the Magistrates concern(s).

The Scarlet Letter is invaluable for how it influenced the literary community to rethink, if not confess such issues about Human oddity. It represents another rung in the ladder toward greater understanding of what Human beings are and have, for the most part, sprung from. That made me think of Pandora’s Box and the monogrammed ‘A’.