Wakwy‘s back to tell us about part two of sudsy soap drama (right?) The Scarlet Letter. –Sparkitors
So, Hester (nickname suggestions? I get the feeling we’re going to hear a lot about her) is still standing in front of the townspeople, on cruel display, when she sees a strangely dressed dude in the audience, wearing what sounds like an awesome combination of Native American and “civilized” clothes. He has a hunched back, and he’s kind of short, with a frowny face.
The dude, who hasn’t been given a name yet and will be referred to as Bob until he does, happens to glance over at Hester. His reaction can only be described as “comically dramatic”:
“A writhing horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them, and making one little pause, with all its wreathed intervolutions in open sight. His face darkened with some powerful emotion, which, nevertheless, he so instantaneously controlled by an effort of his will, that, save at a single moment, its expression might have passed for calmness.”
So, I guess for a second his face looked all “WHA?!,” and then the next it looked all “whatever.”
I mean really, man, a “writhing horror”? What beef does he have with Hester? He sees a man walking by and asks, “Who’s the girl and why is she all shameful?” The guy tells him that Hester has caused a scandal in the church, so she’s being punished.
Bob asks his new friend for the whole story. We find out that Hester was born in England and married some guy there that she didn’t love. He decided to move to America, so he sent her on ahead while he finished closing up shop. But she had an affair, shamed the community, poured Pop Rocks into the water supply, used up all the toilet paper, blah blah blah. Ugh, HESTER! *shakes fist*
Most importantly, she now has a baby, and she won’t tell anyone who the father is. OOH, A MYSTERY! Hold on while I get my Sherlock Holmes hat and coat!
Okay, I’m back. My parents, my imaginary friends, and our visiting neighbors are looking at me strangely, but let’s just ignore them, okay?
She still won’t tell us who the father is, eh? We’ll drag it out of her! Or the characters in the book will…hopefully.
Bob is all like “Where’s the father? He should be up there with her!” I totally agree, and I think the guy is a jerk (and more unsavory terms) for leaving Hester to deal with this alone. The town magistrates say that they didn’t kill her because it’s more the man’s fault that she got pregnant (it takes two…), but I think they’re just keeping her alive because she’s pretty. It’s sad, but do you honestly think they would have been so “lenient” if she was plain looking? If she wasn’t all I-can-stay-in-prison-for-three-months-and-still-look-like-a-L’Oreal-ad?
Bob thinks the punishment is fair, and says that the jerk who knocked Hester up will be found. My kind of guy! But where’s your Sherlock Holmes hat, Bob? I’ll meet you at the detectives’ hideout in 10, just make sure you bring it this time!
Anyway, Hester keeps staring at Bob almost as creepily as my Edward cutout is staring at me. Keep your face to yourself, Cullen! She’s worried to death about meeting Bob face-to-face and is actually comforted by the presence of all the judgmental people. Will someone please tell me what’s going on? Does Hester know Bob? If she does, why won’t Nate tell us?
A voice calls from above. “Hear me, Hester Prynne!” No, it’s not God. It’s just Governor Bellingham! He’s kind of old and looks dignified. There are other old, dignified men standing near him. It’s become obvious now that this town consists entirely of outcasts (Hester, Pearl, and Bob) and old, dignified prudes (everyone except Hester, Pearl, and Bob).
John Wilson, the oldest minister in Boston, steps up to the platform. He tells Hester that she ought to tell them who the father of her baby is, but she won’t. Then he says that his son, Reverend Dimmesdale, doesn’t think that she should be forced to tell everyone in public anyway.
I think I like Reverend Dimmesdale, but I’m not going to say it yet because it’ll jinx things, and the character will end up doing nothing but quoting The Hangover all day while whittling. He’s described as a shy person who is very smart, though Nate used an entire paragraph to say it.
When put on the spot, the young Reverend pales and starts to tremble, because he still doesn’t want to force Hester to confess. I’m really starting to like Dimmesdale, but I don’t understand why he’s so nervous. Maybe if he disobeys his father he’ll spend a year in jail, have his preaching license taken away, and have to work in the coalmines for the rest of his life! I kind of doubt it, though.
Finally, nervous Dimmesdale gets around to asking Hester who the father is.
She still won’t tell.
Wilson says stuff. Then Bellingham says stuff. Then the townspeople butt in.
And Hester still won’t tell.
During this whole exchange, Dimmesdale is very emotional. I don’t know for sure, but I think he’s the father. GASP! But he’s the reverend! SCANDAL! SCANDAL! OMG SCANDAL! It hasn’t been confirmed yet, and the way this story is going, it probably won’t be confirmed for a loooong while.
We close on Dimmesdale’s father giving a long speech on why whipped cream out of a can will never be as good as the real stuff. Just kidding! He actually speechifies on (come on, say it with me) the sin of adultery. For a change, you know.
Thoughts: WHO’S THE FATHER?
Predictions: We’re not going to find out who the father is, are we?
We might know, but we’ll never tell. We think Wakwy is as hilarious as Hawthorne is wordy. What do you think?