Tuesday

and the kitchen sink

I feel like I would do almost anything for an Irish victory this Saturday. I did manage to do a little bit (besides assaulting Heaven with my .45 caliber prayers). I told God that I would run three miles (look, I'm no marathoner) every day until Saturday, INCLUDING Thanksgiving if He would guarantee a win for us. Then I thought that was a bit bold, told Him never mind, it was in His hands, but I was offering up all those extra miles anyway. Just so He knew. For those of you unfamiliar with my route, it's a wimpy two miles. So by Saturday, five more miles will be run for those guys. The scary thing is that I don't even go to ND; if this kind of desperate fervor is inspired by the mere presence of a relative at the institution...I tremble to think what will happen to me if I attend. All night mortification sessions, here I come! This is not to say that I lack confidence in Quinn, Samardjiza, Walker, Zbikowski, et al. Just being prepared. Speaking of all night mortification. Recently I had to read The Scarlet Letter for school. It was fairly decent as far as Nathaniel Hawthorne goes. But I was shocked that I was supposed to think Roger Chillingworth was the villain! Excuse me? Who's the slimy noodlehead who seduced and then abandoned Hester? Hmm? Who's the man who abandoned his child to the mercy of Puritan justice and left the woman he supposedly loved to rot in a hygenically unsound hut? The Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale was not just a weak character who needed redemption, blah blah blah. Chillingworth was not deranged to desire justice (hey, maybe he did get sidetracked, but that still wasn't his fault) Dimmesdale is to blame for everything. He fathers Pearl, abandons her and her mother to the dogs, and then pretends to live a life of perfect sanctity, causing his parish to venerate him as a saint and the whole town to grant him obsequious adulation. Hester was made to do penance for her sin right away; Dimmesdale continued to increase his sin by his craven neglect of the mother and child and his despicable inablity to 'fess up. So what if he whips himself all night? So what if he fasts and abuses himself? In the long run, it doesn't take much moral courage to mortify yourself in the privacy of your closet if you don't intend to let the world know your guilt. Roger Chillingworth comes home to find his wife on public display for the sin of adultery with no man beside her to share the blame. I think it was his duty as a husband to locate the miserable worm who took advantage of his wife and bring said worm to justice. So he deduced Dimmesdale's guilt and then went insane, quite literally. And who's fault was that? Dimmesdale again! The fact that this prim and proper minister went about preaching on others' guilt and was held in high reverence by the community while Hester was reviled and treated with hatred and scorn turned Chillingworth's mind. As it would have many a stronger man, I'm sure. Chillingworth unfortunately decided Dimmesdale should go to hell and never repent; otherwise I would laud him as the one truly manly character in that wretched hole of a Puritan village. Dimmesdale makes a grand confession at the end...and dies. Typical melodrama on his part. Doesn't even live to clarify that he meant what he said; his diehard parishoners go on think he was the holiest pair of feet to walk the planet. Apparently they assumed he stood by Hester the Sinner to make a symbolic point. And no, he doesn't get off the hook because he died. He should have seen that one coming. At least Pearl became normal and presumably had a nice life; Chillingworth went died because his sole pastime (tormenting the tremorous toad) was gone. Hester left and then came back to continue her penance. Add to that the fact that Dimmesdale never was sorry ( he managed to convince Hester to live with him abroad...easy for him to say, nothing happened to him the first time) and you are left with the inevitable conclusion that Dimmesdale (figuratively speaking) can be safely added to my list of people-who-deserve-to-be-called-louses-and-thrown-out-of-windows. Just so you all know, I did run three miles on Monday, and again today. I feel quite helpful.

5 comments:

Lenor said...

keep running.

Go against the grain, that's what homeschooling is supposed to do, teach you to think on your own, not parrot back what you think they want to hear.

Chillingsworth was a real man, flawed, but at least he was a man...

Catherine_Creagan said...

True that. I don't even know what to call Dimmesdale...blighted sorry excuse for a life form.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah. nothing like hating on the scarlett letter. ew.

have you really been running? that is so fabulous. i've been stressing. and running around with jacquelyn. and stressing.

and stressing.

but we're going to mass soon. hopefully that will help as well.

GO IRISH.

sarah said...

This list of yours IS an ever increasing one, isn't it?

Catherine_Creagan said...

hey, we've only got two so far. Not that bad

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