American Lit Podcast #5 Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (3 of 4)

Literary questions aren’t really worth exploring
if there’s an obviously “right” answer, so let’s explore a thorny
question. Near the end of Chapter 13, in the third paragraph from the
end.  

Hawthorne tells us of Hester, “At times a fearful doubt
strove to possess her soul, whether it were not better to send Pearl at
once to Heaven, and go herself to such futurity as Eternal Justice
should provide.”

Now wait a minute… we learned from the meeting
with the governor that Pearl is the only think that keeps Hester from
chucking it all and heading to the midnight meeting in the forest. Why
does Hawthorne choose to tell us this detail?

Prediscussion Podcast 5.mp3