"The Custom House"
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In this case the adversity, of Hester, inspires him to convey this story. THe narrator establishes why the story must be told and why we the reader want to hear it: there is an innate power in that scarlet letter which must be unlocked, which demands to be heard. The story, the letter—neither is dead. This device has been used commonly in literature—that is, when someone discovers an ancient artifact, it retains some of its power, and the finder has the responsibility to put it to rest. In this case the narrator, despite his torpid slumber of insipid duty to job and country, has been awakened to his mission, and he accepts it, revealing to us the mystery of the letter, no matter the consequences for him and his community.