Hololiterature- a Holographic Interpretation of the Scarlet L


Hololiterature: a Holographic Interpretation of the Scarlet Letter

Comprehension of anything requires a framework already in place in order to place it in out sphere of reference. Especially those that are "fuzzy" or difficult to nail down. The brain and the atom are not fully understood, but by comparing functions, structures, and similar operations to known items or concepts one can obtain a hold on the unknown and even extrapolate unknown processes from known ones. (For example, the brain is similar to a computer. They both have memory, input/output, and similar structures-transistors to synapses.) This technique works with literature and a deeper understanding a grasp of a book\'s meaning becomes possible.
The Scarlet Letter can be viewed through an understanding of the operation and production of holograms. First, an understanding of the holographic process is needed before any comparisons are possible.
First and foremost a hologram requires a source of coherent wave-like energy. The second is a recording medium of extremely high resolution to record the microscopic interference patterns of light. The third major requirement is utter stability and freedom from vibrations. As for producing an actual hologram, here is described a two-beam transmission holograph. (So named because viewing it requires shining the same coherent light back through it) The laser is placed on a platform in the sand and a mirror directs the light diagonally across the table. A beamsplitter divides the beam into two parts. One goes to a mirror that directs the light through a spreading lens onto the photographic plate at an angle. The other beam is bounced off a mirror and through a spreading lens onto the object to be holographed. The table is allowed to settle and an exposure made. The light from the first beam, called the reference beam, and the reflected light from the object combine to produce microscopic interference patterns through constructive and destructive interference. Since light is a wave, when two coherent beams intersect depending on their phase they either add or subtract strengths forming areas of lightness and darkness that are captured by the photographic plate. After development the hologram is viewed with light from the same laser at the same angle as when it was exposed and Presto!


You have read a rudimentary description of a hologram\'s function but how could a book compare.....? By drawing parallels between components of the story and those of holography and seeing how they correlate.
Major components of each system should relate; starting with the most impotant component of holography, a coherent wave-like energy source. Do humans see an object? Or do they mrely record the photons reflecting off it. Of course they see the effects of light, not the object or light itself but its effects. Just as humans cannot see light, in the imaginary "holographic" Scarlet Letter "life" cannot be seen, only its effects. So life, however defined, is the energy source to sustain that imaginiary world. The second major component is the recording medium, which is the characters themselves. From the subtle nuances possible in each character comes the resolution to record all that effects a person. Some characters are already developed (in the photographic sense)-their character records no additional patterns. Chillingworth is static; he has one goal and affects those around him, yet they don\'t change him at all.
Humans see in three dimensions due to their binocular vision. It\'s a process similar to triangulation. If you observe an object from a certain position and determine the angle to it then move a measured distance and again find the angle the intersection of the lines is the position in space of the object. The brain does the same operation automatically to obtain the 3rd dimension. A hologram reproduces the way light appears to the eye at different distances, but the amount of depth is limited. Among holograms of all permutations, possible depths of field vary from a few inches to several feet in complex setups. If the analogy holds then characters must exhibit differences in depth, and they do. Characters like Governor Bellingham and the stalwart ladies of the village have little substance beyond what is readily visible.
While this "life energy" bounces around the setting of The Scarlet Letter various important things change it in