In chapter 2 Hester Prynne is standing on the pillory, wearing the scarlet A in public for the first time. Instead of seeing the crowd of people staring at her and her child, Hester begins “seeing” scenes from her past. It’s her way of coping with the humiliation of her punishment.
Her mind, and especially her memory, was preternaturally active, and kept bringing up other scenes than this roughly hewn street of a little town on the edge of the Western wilderness; other faces than were lowering upon her from beneath the brims of those steeple-crowned hats.
This reader cheered, oh, not for Hester, but for herself. She cheered for the fact that she did not need to consult a dictionary to know the meaning of the word preternaturally. Then this reader cheered for the blogger who wrote the “Classic Word of the Day” posts. Thanks, Christina. It’s working!