OJ Simpson was suspected of killing his ex-wife and her friend outside her
home. Before he was arrested for the suspicion he was already tried, convicted
and, executed in the minds of all of America. Before he went to trial everyone
knew the "truth," everyone had already decided his fate before the evidence
was presented. No one knew what happened but we all formed our opinions
and theories of how he did it, why he did it, and if he should be killed or just get
life in prison. Our world is too judgmental and it always has been. Even in the
time Hawthorne wrote of in The Scarlet Letter and in "The Ministers Black Veil"
people judged before they knew the truth.
Objects were judged even though they had no relevance on what really
happened. In "The Ministers Black Veil" no one knew why the minister wore
the veil but everyone assumed it meant shame and that he had something to
hide. I think that the minister thought that it was his mission to show how
superficial the people were. The ministers own fiancee left him because no one
knew anything about the veil he wore. Again in The Scarlet Letter, I can think
of two more major examples where an object was used as a sign or omen. The
first is of course the letter, it meant evil, shame, and sin to the townspeople.
All it was, was a letter nothing more, nothing less. The second object that
people took as a prolific sign was the weeds on a grave. They reasoned that the
weeds were there because of the sins of that person, and that the weeds grew
because flowers could not. People then and now take symbols too deeply and
People often take events to be meaningful and supernatural. In The Scarlet
Letter the meteor meant some great act of God or the Devil was about to take
place. All a meteor is, is a chunk of rock of that is being incinerated in our
atmosphere. As a second example, when a person was up on the scaffold it
meant that they deserved scorn and ridicule and no mercy. The scaffold meant
you had shame and guilt and it was for all the others to see.
In those times people were taken to mean things as well. Hester was good
hearted and almost clean but was seen as a sinful evil person, to be avoided at
all costs. Chillingworth was seen as a kindhearted doctor only there to help people when in actuallity he was an evil, sadistic man concerned only with his complete revenge on Dimesdale. The minister, or reverend, is seen as a holy reverent person, to be looked upon as a level of holiness to achieve. The reverend may have committed great and evil sins but he is still seen as a holy idol.
People judge others without basis for their opinion, and without knowing
of the facts. Events were taken as symbolic when all they were was a natural
occurrence. Objects are made into symbols when often all they are is an object,
not meant to mean anything but always made to mean something. Everything is
judged and made to mean something when they are meaningless. Our world is
superficial and prejudice against what they do not understand. They judge on
appearances and circumstances. Most don't even make an attempt at finding the
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