Who knew that the Puritanical vibes of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work (best known, of course, for writing The Scarlet Letter) would be so applicable to life in Midtown? A quote from The Scarlet Letter made more famous by The Sopranos episode entitled “College” elucidates ever so succinctly the transformation an office worker’s personality undergoes in his cube life. While visiting Bowdoin College (incidentally, where Hawthorne attended) with Meadow, Tony encounters a giant sign with Hawthorne’s warning: “No man can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which one may be true.”
Indeed, this fact is quickly seen after a prolonged period of working the office scene in Midtown, wondering which mask you must put on for whom at any given moment. Outside of work, you start to recognize your original self less and less, with the face you show to the corporate multitude becoming more real than your true face, thereby obscuring who you are.