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A Study in Scarlet

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Emily Langmeyer

on 7 June 2013

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Transcript of A Study in Scarlet

Maya Deschenes, Emily Langmeyer, Olivia Pavao A Study in Scarlet Sin "She would detect the eyes of a young maiden glancing at the scarlet letter, shyly and aside, and quickly averted with a faint, chill crimson in her cheeks; as if her purity were somewhat sullied by that momentary glance" (102). The color scarlet represents: The blush in the woman's cheeks may indicate that she is embarrassed about seeing Hester's scarlet letter because she feels guilty about her own private sins that have not been exposed. The girl's pink cheeks reveal her hidden sin and shows the reader that even though someone might seem pure and good-hearted, everyone has a sin that is buried deep within themselves. Her flushed skin could also be a reaction to drawing attention to Hester and the humiliation she is feeling for wearing the scarlet letter. "'He bids you look again at Hester's scarlet letter! He tells you that, with all it's mysterious horror, it is but the shadow of what he wears on his own breast, and that even this, his own red stigma, is no more than the type of what has seared his inmost heart!'"(305). Dimmesdale says this because he believes his secret sin is portrayed upon his chest in the form of his own invisible scarlet letter. His guilty conscience leads him to believe that the scarlet letter has branded his own heart, since he has not taken responsibility for his role in the travesty. His love for Hester comes from his heart, which is being tormented watching Hester's suffering. The color red is said to be on his chest because it is a mirror of Hester's sin. His disgrace overwhelms him, causing him to go insane. "Her mother, in contriving the child's garb, had allowed the gorgeous tendencies of her imagination their full play; arraying her in a crimson velvet tunic of a peculiar cut, abundantly embroidered with fantasies and flourishes of gold-thread" (119). Pearl is the product of a secret sin, so her mother adorns her in clothes of red fabric. Though the sin she committed is not secret anymore, she wants Pearl to be noticed by everyone. Because red is viewed as a negative color, it seems to be that she is trying to bring a negative light to her. She seems to be like a second "A" to Hester. However, Hester seems to be making it that way with the way she dresses her daughter. She is already an outward manifestation of her mother's not-so-secret sin, and her dresses do not make it easy to blend in with society.
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