February 7, 2013
As I read this passage I analyzed a specific detail that caught my attention. This quote gave me a sense of how much meaning a phrase can give a reader. The intriguing passage reads; “Again, at the first instant of perceiving that thin visage, and the slight deformity of the figure, she pressed her infant to her bosom, with so convulsive a force that the poor babe uttered another cry of pain. But the mother did not seem to hear it.” This passage shows the fear that Hester Prynne has of the people that are in the crowd. It shows that by holding the infant close to her bosom is a symbol of shame and embarrassment which she is trying to hide from her child. Also, when it says that basically Hester ignored her infants cry as she held her closer it shows that she feels it is more important to shelter the infant from reality. Also, Hawthorne creates the imagery to the reader that there is more to Chillingsworth than meets the eye. There also seems to be a sense of admiration in this passage which is surprising.
These specific details illuminates this passage as a whole by showing to the reader that Hester is showing to be strong even though she is uncomfortable and ashamed in the situation she is in. She uses the child as a symbol to show the crowd that she child and the A she is wearing is the same thing. That they serve the same purpose in society. This passage also presents to the reader that Hester was caught off guard by the appearance of Chillingsworth that she had to abruptly jerk her infant closer to her. Ultimately, Hawthorne’s use of his imagery in this passage creates the sensation of humiliation, shame, and disgrace.
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