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It might be, too, that a witch, like old Mistress Hibbins, the bitter tempered widow of the magistrate, was to die upon the gallows. (2.1)
Nice, Hawthorne. But does he really believe that she's a witch—or is he just talking with the voice of the community, here?
It had the affect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity and enclosing her in a sphere by herself. (2.11)
This is the scarlet letter: it's a "spell" that takes her out of the ordinary stuff of day-to-day life. But is Hester the only one under the letter's spell? And if Hester made the letter herself, who cast the spell?
It was whispered, by those who peered after her, that the scarlet letter threw a lurid gleam along the dark passageway of the interior. (3.33)
Okay, obviously the scarlet letter wasn't actually glowing. But this incident—and other supernatural type events—put us into a different world, one in which everyday natural events have supernatural meanings. To people who can see the supernatural where it doesn't exist, Hester's adultery would mean something very different.