Fear of the Dark

Welcome back to the series of the Scarlet Letter (Magic of MeaningMark of the Witch). If you’re new, you will do fine without having read anything before, but some parts may be a bit difficult to understand without the themes introduced before (and I hope I haven’t written them for naught).

For us visual creatures, the darkness is the omnipresent metaphor of the unknown – that which is outside of our senses and faculties. Thus recognizing a “thing”; giving something a name, labelling it, or learning the “true name” means not only knowledge, but control.

Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have constant fear that something’s
always near
Fear of the dark, fear of the dark
I have a phobia that someone’s
always there
— Iron Maiden “Fear of the Dark” (excerpt)

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Scarlet Letters

The “Scarlet Letter” is an old pointy hat. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote his magnum opus in 1850 and not too much later, in 2007, the Richard Dawkins Foundation came around with the idea that Atheists shall “out”  themselves, too, with a scarlet A on their chest like the unfortunate characters of Hawthorne’s novel.

Hawthorne

“Good evening, […] I thought it time we had a little talk. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…”
— V in “V for Vendetta”

For those who bunked the English lessons, or who didn’t enjoy English literature education in some foreign country, I found this video illustrating the plot. It is quite worth your time.

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