The Scarlet Letter Important Quotes Flashcard Example #42367

“Before this ugly edifice…was a grass plot, much overgrown with burdock, pigweed, apple peru, and such unsightly vegetation, which had so early borne the black flower of civilized society, a prison. But on one side of the portal, and rooted almost at the threshold, was a wild rosebush…” (46).
Chapter 1
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Surroundings of the prison
“…a wild rosebush…which might be imagined to offer their fragrance and fragile beauty to the prisoner as he went in, and to the condemned criminal as he came forth to his doom, in token that the deep heart of Nature could pity and be kind to him” (46).
Chapter 1
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: The rosebush is a symbol of forgiveness
“It may serve, let us hope, to symbolize some sweet moral blossom that may be found along the track, or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow” (46).
Chapter 1
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester’s tale
“At the very least, they should have put the brand of hot iron on Hester Prynne’s forehead” (49).
Chapter 2
Speaker: A woman gossiping
Spoken to: Other women gossiping
Who/What is described: Hester
“It was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy…” (50).
Chapter 2
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: The Scarlet Letter
“Her attire…express the attitude of her spirit, the desperate recklessness of her mood, by its wild and picturesque peculiarity” (51).
Chapter 2
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester’s individuality
“…the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it” (52).
Chapter 2
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Sufferers
“Yet those same bleared optics had a strange, penetrating power, when it was their owner’s purpose to read the human soul” (56).
Chapter 2
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
“Could it be true?…Yes!—these were her realities—all else had vanished” (56)!
Chapter 2
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester
“A writhing horror twisted itself across his features, like a snake gliding swiftly over them…His face darkened with some powerful emotion…” (58).
Chapter 3
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
“…it must gladden your heart, after your troubles and sojourn in the wilderness…to find yourself, at length, in a land where iniquity is searched out, and punished in the sight of rulers and people; as here in our godly New England” (59).
Chapter 3
Speaker: Townsman
Spoken to: Chillingworth
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
” – He will be known” (60)!
Chapter 3
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Townsman
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“…it would not have been easy to select the same number of wise and virtuous persons who should be less capable of sitting in judgment on an erring woman’s heart” (61).
Chapter 3
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Incompetence of the Puritan officials
“He was a person of very striking aspect with a white, lofty, and impending brow, large, brown, melancholy eyes, and a mouth which, unless when he forcibly compressed it, was apt to be tremulous, expressing both nervous sensibility and a vast power of self-restraint” (63).
Chapter 3
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“…there was an air about this young minister – as of a being who felt himself quite astray and at a loss in the pathway of human existence, and could only be at ease in some seclusion of his own” (63).
Chapter 3
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“I will not speak!…And my child must seek a heavenly Father; she shall never know an earthly one” (65)!
Chapter 3
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Mr. Wilson/Dimmesdale/Townspeople
Who/What is described: The father of Pearl
“Wondrous strength and generosity of a woman’s heart! She will not speak” (65)!
Chapter 3
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Mr. Wilson/Townspeople
Who/What is described: Hester
“…the child, who drawing its sustenance from the maternal bosom, seemed to have drunk in with it all the turmoil, the anguish and despair, which pervaded the mother’s system” (67).
Chapter 4
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl
“Live, therefore and bear about thy doom with thee, in the eyes of men and women – in the eyes of him whom thou didst call thy husband – in the eyes of yonder child!” (70).
Chapter 4
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Hester
“Men call me wise. If sages were ever wise in their own behoof, I might have foreseen all this” (70-71).
Chapter 4
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
“We have wronged each other” (71).
Chapter 4
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Chillingworth/Hester
“Thou and thine, Hester Prynne, belong to me. My home is where thou art, and where he is. But betray me not!” (73).
Chapter 4
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Chillingworth/Hester
“Art thou like the Black Man that haunts the forest round about us? Hast thou enticed me into a bond that will prove the ruin of my soul?” (73).
Chapter 4
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Chillingworth
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
“Throughout them all, giving up her individuality, she would become the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point, and in which they might vivify and embody their images of woman’s frailty and sinful passion” (75).
Chapter 5
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester
“The chain that bound her here was of iron links, and galling to her inmost soul, but could never be broken” (76).
Chapter 5
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester
“…she hid the secret from herself, and grew pale whenever it struggled out of her heart, like a serpent from its hole – it might be that another feeling kept her within the scene and pathway that had been so fatal” (76).
Chapter 5
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester
“What she compelled herself to believe – what, finally, she reasoned upon as her motive for continuing a resident of New England – was half a truth, and half a self-delusion” (76).
Chapter 5
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester’s reason for staying
“Deep ruffs, painfully wrought bands and gorgeously embroidered gloves were all deemed necessary to the official state of men assuming the reins of power; and were readily allowed to individuals dignified by rank or wealth, even while sumptuary laws forbade these and similar extravagances to the plebian order” (78).
Chapter 5
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hypocrisy of officials
“But sometimes, once in many days, or perchance in many months, she felt an eye – a human eye – upon the ignominious brand, that seemed to give a momentary relief, as if half of her agony were shared…for, in that brief interval, she had sinned anew. Had Hester sinned alone?” (81-82).
Chapter 5
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester/Dimmesdale
“But she named the infant ‘Pearl,’ as being of great price – purchased with all she had – her mother’s only treasure!” (84).
Chapter 6
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester/Pearl
“The mother’s impassioned state had been the medium through which were transmitted to the unborn infant the rays of its mortal life; and however white and clear originally, they had taken the deep stains of crimson and gold, the fiery lustre, the black shadow, and the untempered light, of the intervening substance” (86).
Chapter 6
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester/Pearl
“It was a look so intelligent, yet inexplicable, so perverse, sometimes so malicious, but generally accompanied by a wild flow of spirits, that Hester could not help questioning, at such moments, whether Pearl was a human child” (87).
Chapter 6
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl
“It was a face, fiendlike, full of smiling malice, yet bearing the semblance of features that she had known full well, though seldom with a smile, and never with malice in them” (91).
Chapter 6
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl
“I have no Heavenly Father!” (93).
Chapter 6
Speaker: Pearl
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Father of Pearl
“Hester Prynne went one day to the mansion of Governor Bellingham with a pair of gloves, which she had fringed and embroidered to his order…” (Hawthorne 94).
Chapter 7
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hypocrisy of Governor Bellingham
“…and made her the very brightest little jet of flame that ever danced upon the earth” (Hawthorne 96).
Chapter 7
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl
“The brilliancy might have befitted Aladdin’s palace rather than the mansion of a grave old Puritan ruler” (Hawthorne 97).
Chapter 7
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Mansion of Governor Bellingham (Hypocrisy)
“Thou must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee!” (Hawthorne 97).
Chapter 7
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Pearl
Who/What is described: Pearl/Hester
“In truth, she seemed absolutely hidden behind it” (Hawthorne 100).
Chapter 7
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester
“…this badge hath taught me – it daily teaches me – it is teaching me at this moment – lessons whereof my child may be the wiser and better, albeit they can profit nothing to myself” (Hawthorne 104-105).
Chapter 8
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Governor Bellingham
Who/What is described: Scarlet Letter
“…the child finally announced that she had not been made at all, but had been plucked by her mother off the bush of wild roses that grew by the prison door” (Hawthorne 105-106).
Chapter 8
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl/Nature
“…what a change had come over his feature – how much uglier they were – how his dark complexion seemed to have grown duskier, and his figure more misshapen – since the days when she had familiarly known him” (Hawthorne 106).
Chapter 8
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
“Speak thou for me!…Thou wast my pastor, and hadst charge of my soul, and knowest me better than these men can…Thou knowest – for thou hast sympathies which these men lack” (Hawthorne 107).
Chapter 8
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Dimmesdale
Who/What is described: Hester begs Dimmesdale to help her because he understands
“The young minister, on ceasing to speak, had withdrawn a few steps from the group and stood with his face partially concealed in the heavy folds of the window curtain, while the shadow of his figure, which the sunlight cast upon the floor, was tremulous with the vehemence of his appeal” (Hawthorne 109).
Chapter 8
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“Had they taken her from me, I would willingly have gone with thee into the forest, and signed my name in the Black Man’s book too, and that with mine own blood!” (Hawthorne 110).
Chapter 8
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester is saved from Satan by Pearl
“We shall have thee there anon!” (Hawthorne 110).
Chapter 8
Speaker: Mistress Hibbins
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Witchcraft
“He resolved not to be pilloried beside her on the pedestal of shame” (111).
Chapter 9
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
“By those best acquainted with his habits, the paleness of the young minister’s cheek was accounted for by his too earnest devotion to study, his scrupulous fulfillment of parochial duty, and, more than all, by the fasts and vigils of which he made a frequent practice,…” (113).
Chapter 9
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“I need no medicine” (114).
Chapter 9
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: People worrying about his health
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale’s health
“According to the vulgar idea, the fire in his laboratory had been brought from the lower regions, and was fed with infernal fuel; and so, as might be expected, his visage was getting sooty with the smoke” (120).
Chapter 9
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
“He now dug into the poor clergyman’s heart like a miner searching for gold; or. Rather, like a sexton delving into a grave, possibly in quest of a jewel that had been buried on the dead man’s bosom, but likely to find nothing save mortality and corruption” (121).
Chapter 10
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Chillingworth trying to find out Dimmesdale’s secret
“Trusting no man as his friend, he could not recognize his enemy when the latter actually appeared” (122).
Chapter 10
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale’s enemy is Chillingworth, but he does not realize it
“They grew out of his heart, and typify, it may be, some hideous secret that was buried with him, and which he had done better to confess during his lifetime” (123).
Chapter 10
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Dimmesdale
Who/What is described: Subtly, Chillingworth is trying to persuade Dimmesdale to reveal his secret
“Come away, Mother! Come away, or yonder old Black Man will catch you! He hath got hold of the minister already. Come away, Mother, or he will catch you! But he cannot catch little Pearl!” (126).
Chapter 10
Speaker: Pearl
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Pearl believes the “Black Man” has already caught Dimmesdale and will catch Hester too, but not her.
“Let him do with me as, in his justice and wisdom, he shall see good. But who art thou, that meddles in this matter? – that darest thrust himself between the sufferer and his God?” (128).
Chapter 10
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Chillingworth
Who/What is described: God decides for Dimmesdale; and Dimmesdale condemns Chillingworth
“His gestures, his gait his grizzled beard, his slightest and most indifferent acts, the very fashion of his garments, were odious in the clergyman’s sight” (132).
Chapter 10
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
“All this was accomplished with a subtlety so perfect, that the minister, though he had constantly a dim perception of some evil influence watching over him, could never gain a knowledge of its actual nature” (132).
Chapter 11
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Chillingworth getting his revenge on Dimmesdale
“And, all this time, perchance, when poor Mr. Dimmesdale was thinking of his grave, he questioned whether the grass would ever grow on it, because an accursed thing must there be buried!” (134).
Chapter 11
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale’s fate
“He had striven to put a cheat upon himself by making the avowal of a guilty conscience, but had gained only one other sin, and a self-acknowledged shame, without the momentary relief of being self-deceived” (136).
Chapter 11
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale’s guilt
“He had spoken the very truth, and transformed it into the veriest falsehood. And yet, by the constitution of his nature, he loved the truth and loathed the lie, as few men ever did. Therefore above all things else, he loathed his miserable self” (136)!
Chapter 11
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale’s guilt and hypocrisy
“No eye could see him, save that ever-wakeful one which had seen him in his closet wielding the bloody scourge” (138-139).
Chapter 12
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“…there came what seemed a tumultuous rush of new life, other life than his own, pouring like a torrent into his heart and hurrying through all his veins, as if the mother and child were communicating their vital warmth to his half-torpid system. The three formed an electric chain” (143).
Chapter 12
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale’s reaction to Pearl
“At the great judgment day…But the daylight of this world shall not see our meeting!” (144).
Chapter 12
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Pearl
Who/What is described: When Dimmesdale will reveal his sin and stand with Hester and Pearl
“So vivid was the expression, or so intense the minister’s perception of it, that it seemed still to remain painted on the darkness after the meteor had vanished, with an effect as if the street and all things else were at once annihilated” (147).
Chapter 12
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“I hate him…Canst thou do nothing for me? I have a nameless horror of the man!” (147).
Chapter 12
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
“Satan dropped it there, I take it, intending a scurrilous jest against your reverence. But, indeed, he was blind and foolish, as he ever and always is. A pure hand needs no glove to cover it!” (148).
Chapter 12
Speaker: Sexton
Spoken to: Dimmesdale
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale’s black glove
“The links that united her to the rest of human kind – links of flowers, or silk, or gold, or whatever the material – had all been broken. Here was the iron link of mutual crime, which neither he nor she could break” (150-151).
Chapter 13
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester’s connection to Dimmesdale
“Such helpfulness was found in her—so much power to do and power to sympathize—that many people…said that it meant “Able”; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a women’s strength” (152).
Chapter 13
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester and the meaning of her scarlet letter
“It was a sad transformation, too, that her rich and luxuriant hair had either been cut off, or was so completely hidden by a cap, that not a shining lock of it ever once gushed into the sunshine” (154).
Chapter 13
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: The effects of Hester’s sin and isolation
“At times, a fearful doubt strove to possess her soul, whether it were not better to send Pearl at once to heaven, and go herself to such futurity as Eternal Justice should provide” (157).
Chapter 13
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester’s thoughts of murdering Pearl and killing herself.
“The scarlet letter had not done its office” (157)
Chapter 13
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Scarlet Letter
“On my life, Hester, I made my entreaty to the worshipful magistrate that it might be done forthwith!” (160).
Chapter 14
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Chillingworth tells Hester that the Puritan council was thinking of letting her remove the letter
“Something that would make me weep, if there were any tears bitter enough for it…But let it pass!” (161).
Chapter 14
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Chillingworth
Who/What is described: Chillingworth’s face
“That he now breathes, and creeps about on earth, is owing all to me!” (162).
Chapter 14
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“If that have not avenged me, I can do no more!” (163).
Chapter 14
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Scarlet Letter
“Thou hadst great elements. Peradventure, hadst thou met earlier with a better love than mine, this evil had not been. I pity thee, for the good that has been wasted in thy nature!” (164).
Chapter 14
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Hester
“It is our fate. Let the black flower blossom as it may” (165).
Chapter 14
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Hester/Chillingworth’s fates
“Yes, I hate him!…He betrayed me! He has done me worse wrong than I did him!” (167).
Chapter 15
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
“One little gray bird with a white breast…had been hit by a pebble, and fluttered away with a broken wing” (168).
Chapter 15
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl harming a bird, who is like herself
“What does the letter mean, Mother?—and why dost thou wear it?—and why does the minister keep his hand over his heart?” (171)
Chapter 15
Speaker: Pearl
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Pearl is curious about the letter, and she sees the connection between Dimmesdale and Hester
“I wear it for the sake of its gold thread” (171).
Chapter 15
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Pearl
Who/What is described: Hester decides it is too young for Pearl to know the truth, so she lies
“It may be that it was the talisman of a stern and severs, but yet a guardian spirit, who now forsook her, as recognizing that, in spite of his strict watch over her heart, some new evil had crept into it, or some old one had never been expelled” (171-172).
Chapter 15
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Scarlet Letter
“The road…was no other than a footpath. It straggled onward into the mystery of the primeval forest. This hemmed it in so narrowly, and stood so black and dense on either side, and disclosed such imperfect glimpses of the sky above…” (174).
Chapter 16
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Privacy of the forest
“Mother…the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself because it is afraid of something on your bosom” (174).
Chapter 16
Speaker: Pearl
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Hester’s sin
“Stand you here, and let me run and catch it. I am but a child. It will not flee from me, for I wear nothing on my bosom yet!” (174).
Chapter 16
Speaker: Pearl
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: The sunshine
“It was certainly a doubtful charm, imparting a hard, metallic luster to the child’s character” (175).
Chapter 16
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl’s wild energy/vigor
“…the old dame said that this scarlet letter was the Black Man’s mark on thee, and that it glows like a red flame when thou meetest him at midnight, here in the dark wood” (176).
Chapter 16
Speaker: Pearl
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Pearl’s curiosity about the scarlet letter
“Once in my life I met the Black Man!…This scarlet letter is his mark!” (176).
Chapter 16
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Pearl
Who/What is described: Hester’s sin
“Here it was woefully visible, in this intense seclusion of the forest, which of itself would have been a heavy trial to the spirits” (179).
Chapter 16
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Privacy of the forest
“…it was like the first encounter, in the world beyond the grave, of two spirits who had been intimately connected in their former life, but stood coldly shuddering, in mutual dread, as not yet familiar with their state, nor wonted to the companionship of disembodied beings” (181).
Chapter 17
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale and Hester’s encounter
“Were I an atheist – a man devoid of conscience – a wretch with course and brutal instincts – I might have found peace…” (182).
Chapter 17
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale’s guilt and hypocrisy
“Had I one friend – or were it my worst enemy! – to whom, when sickened with the praises of all other men, I could daily betake myself and be known as the vilest of all sinners, methinks my soul might keep itself alive thereby. Even thus much of truth would save me! But, now, it is all falsehood! – all emptiness! – all death!” (183).
Chapter 17
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale’s guilt
“But a lie is never good, even though death threaten on the other side!” (184).
Chapter 17
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Dimmesdale
Who/What is described: Hester blames herself for not revealing Dimmesdale’s name
“Never was there a blacker or a fiercer frown than Hester now encountered. For the brief space that it lasted, it was a dark transfiguration” (185).
Chapter 17
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“…thou art accountable for this! I cannot forgive thee!” (185).
Chapter 17
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale cannot forgive Hester because he did not realize that his physician was her husband
“Be thou strong for me!…Advise me what to do” (187).
Chapter 17
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale seeks advise from Hester
“And what hast thou to do with all these iron men, and their opinions? They have kept thy better part in bondage too long already!” (188).
Chapter 17
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Dimmesdale
Who/What is described: Purtians
“Lost as my own soul is, I would still do what I may for other human souls!” (188).
Chapter 17
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale still wants to be the Puritan’s pastor, so he does not want to leave
“Give up this name…and make thyself another, and a high one, such as thou canst wear without fear or shame” (188).
Chapter 17
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Dimmesdale
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“Thou shalt not go alone!” (189).
Chapter 17
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Dimmesdale
Who/What is described: Hester will leave with Dimmesdale
“But Hester Prynne, with a mind of native courage and activity, and for so long a period not merely estranged, but outlawed, from society, had habituated herself to such latitude of speculation as was altogether foreign to the clergyman. She had wandered, without rule or guidance, in a moral wilderness…. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers,—stern and wild ones,—and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss” (190)
Chapter 18
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: The Scarlet Letter/Individuality
“But this had been a sin of passion, not of principle, nor even purpose.” (191)
Chapter 18
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester and Dimmesdale’s Sin
“O Thou to whom I dare not lift mine eyes, wilt Thou yet pardon me!” (192).
Chapter 18
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Hester
“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.” (193)
Chapter 18
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester
“There played around her mouth, and beamed out of her eyes, a radiant and tender smile, that seemed gushing form the very heart of womanhood. A crimson flush was glowing on her cheek, that had been long so pale” (193).
Chapter 18
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester
“The great black forest—stern as it showed itself to those who brought the guilt and troubles of the world into its bosom—became the playmate of the lonely infant, as well as it knew how” (195).
Chapter 18
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl/Nature
“Slowly; for she saw the clergyman!” (196).
Chapter 18
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl and Dimmesdale
“She had been offered to the world, these seven years past, as the living hieroglyphic, in which was revealed the secret they so darkly sought to hide—all written in this symbol” (197-198).
Chapter 19
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl
“It was strange the way in which Pearl stood, looking so steadfastly at them through the dim medium of the forest gloom; herself, meanwhile all glorified with a ray of sunshine that was attracted thitherward as by a certain sympathy. In the brook beneath stood another child-another and the same-with likewise its ray of golden light. Hester felt herself, in some indistinct and tantalizing manner, estranged from Pearl; as if the child in her lonely ramble through the forest had strayed out of the sphere in which she and her mother dwelt together, and was now vainly seeking to return to it” (199).
Chapter 19
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl refuses to return to Hester
“I have a strange fancy…that this brook is the boundary between two worlds, and that thou canst never meet thy Pearl again” (199)
Chapter 19
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Hester and Pearl
“…there was a sense of inevitable doom upon her, as she thus received back this deadly symbol from the hand of fate” (202).
Chapter 19
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester
“But, in very truth, she is right as regards this hateful token. I must bear its torture yet a little longer…” (201)
Chapter 19
Speaker: Hester
Spoken to: Dimmesdale
Who/What is described: Pearl and the Scarlet Letter
“Hereupon, Pearl broke away from her mother, and, running to the brook, stooped over it and bathed her forehead, until the unwelcome kiss was quite washed off…” (203).
Chapter 19
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl washes away Dimmesdale’s kiss
“At least, they shall say of me…that I leave no public duty unperformed, nor ill performed!” (205).
Chapter 20
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Dimmesdale
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true” (205-206)
Chapter 20
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“The minister’s own will, and Hester’s will, and the fate that grew between them, had wrought this transformation. It was the same town as heretofore; but the same minister returned not from the forest” (207).
Chapter 20
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“Satan, that afternoon, had surely led the poor young girl away from her mother’s side, and thrown her into the pathway of this sorely tempted, or—shall we not rather say?—this lost and desperate man” (209).
Chapter 20
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale’s temptation to taint the young sister’s soul
“That self was gone. Another man had returned out of the forest; a wiser one, with a knowledge of hidden mysteries which the simplicity of the former never could have reached. A bitter kind of knowledge that!” (212).
Chapter 20
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“The physician knew then, that, in the minister’s regard, he was no longer a trusted friend, but his bitterest enemy” (213).
Chapter 20
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Chillingworth realizes Dimmesdale knows his secret
“…he forthwith began another, which he wrote with such an impulsive flow of thought and emotion, that he fancied himself inspired” (214).
Chapter 20
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale rewriting his Election Sermon
“It would have been impossible to guess that this bright and sunny apparition owed its existence to the shape of gloomy gray…” (216).
Chapter 21
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Contrasts Hester and Pearl’s apparel
“The effervescence made her flit with a birdlike movement, rather than walk by her mother’s side” (217).
Chapter 21
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Pearl
“What a strange, sad man is he!” (218).
Chapter 21
Speaker: Pearl
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“Their immediate posterity, the generation next to the early emigrants, wore the blackest shade of Puritanism” (222).
Chapter 21
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Puritans
“…a smile which—across the wide and bustling square, and through all the talk and laughter, and various thoughts, moods, and interests of the crowd—conveyed secret and fearful meaning” (223).
Chapter 21
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Chillingworth smiling at Hester
“The entire array, moreover, clad in burnished steel, and with plumage nodding over their bright morions, had a brilliancy of effect which no modern display can aspire to equal” (225).
Chapter 22
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: The soldiers in the procession
“But where was his mind? Far and deep in its own region, busying itself, with preternatural activity, to marshal a procession of stately thoughts that were soon to issue thence; and so he saw nothing, heard nothing, knew nothing, of what was around him; but the spiritual element took up the feeble frame, and carried it along, unconscious of the burden, and converting it to spirit like itself. Men of uncommon intellect, who have grown morbid, possess this occasional power of mighty effort, in which they throw the life of many days, and then are lifeless for as many more” (227)
Chapter 22
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale is preoccupied with his thoughts.
“Her spirit sank with the idea that all must have been a delusion, and that , vividly as she had dreamed it, there could be no bond betwixt the clergyman and herself” (227).
Chapter 22
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester
“Mother…was that the same minister that kissed me by the brook?” (228).
Chapter 22
Speaker: Pearl
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“Hold thy peace, dear little Pearl!…We must not always talk in the market-place of what happens to us in the forest” (228).
Chapter 22
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester still hides Dimmesdale’s secret from the public and advises Pearl to do so as well.
“They say, child, thou art of the lineage of the Prince of the Air!” (230).
Chapter 22
Speaker: Mistress Hibbins
Spoken to: Pearl
Who/What is described: She connects Pearl to the daughter of the devil.
“At the final hour, when she was so soon to fling aside the burning letter, it had strangely become the centre of more remark and excitement, and was thus made to sear her breast more painfully, than at any time since the first day she put it on” (234).
Chapter 22
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester and her scarlet letter
“What imagination would have been irreverent enough to surmise that the same scorching stigma was on them both!” (234).
Chapter 22
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Hester and Dimmesdale both have a scarlet letter.
“Yes; their minister whom they loved—and who so loved them all, that he could not depart heavenward without a sigh—had the foreboding of untimely death upon him, and would soon leave them in their tears!” (236).
Chapter 23
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“Never, on New England soil, had stood the man so honored by his mortal brethren as the preacher!” (237).
Chapter 23
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“Thy strength, Hester; but let it be guided by the will which God hath granted me! This wretched and wronged man is opposing it with all his might!—with all his own might, and the fiend’s!” (240).
Chapter 23
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Hester
Who/What is described: Chillingworth
“But he hid it cunningly from men, and walked among you with the mien of a spirit, mournful, because so pure in a sinful world!—and sad, because he missed his heavenly kindred!” (242).
Chapter 23
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: People of New England
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale
“Thou hast escaped me!…Thou hast escaped me!” (242).
Chapter 23
Speaker: Chillingworth
Spoken to: Dimmesdale
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale escapes from Chillingworth’s “prison” by revealing the truth.
“May God forgive thee!…Thou, too, hast deeply sinned!” (242).
Chapter 23
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: Chillingworth
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale shows his sympathy to Chillingworth.
“The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father’s cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor forever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it” (243).
Chapter 23
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: By revealing his sin, Dimmesdale gives Pearl her humanity.
“God knows; and he is merciful!” (243).
Chapter 23
Speaker: Dimmesdale
Spoken to: People of New England
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale shows that the society should forgive like God instead of punish.
“We have thrown all the light we could acquire upon the portent, and would gladly, now that it has done its office, erase its deep print out of our own brain, where long meditation has fixed it in very undesirable distinctness” (244-245).
Chapter 24
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: The Scarlet Letter
“It was to teach them that the holiest among us has but attained so far above his fellows as to discern more clearly the Mercy which looks down, and repudiate more utterly the phantom of human merit which would look aspiringly upward” (245).
Chapter 24
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale’s lesson
“Without disputing a truth so momentous, we must be allowed to consider this version of Mr. Dimmesdale’s story as only an instance of that stubborn fidelity with which a man’s friends-and especially a clergyman’s-will sometimes uphold his character, when proofs, clear as the midday sunshine on the scarlet letter, establish him a false and sin-stained creature of the dust.” (245).
Chapter 24
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: People will believe only what they want to believe. The Puritans were oblivious to Dimmesdale’s sinful nature because they only saw him as a benevolent, moral minister.
“Be true! Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world, if not your worse, yet some trait whereby the worse may be inferred!” (246).
Chapter 24
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: The most important thing is to tell the truth.
“All his strength and energy—all his vital and intellectual force—seemed at once to desert him; insomuch that he positively withered up, shrivelled away, and almost vanished from mortal life…This unhappy man had made the very principle of his life to consist in the pursuit and systematic exercise of revenge” (246)
Chapter 24
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: When Dimmesdale died, Chillingworth lost his purpose in life since he was blinded by revenge.
“In the spiritual world, the old physician and the minister—mutual victims as they have been—may, unawares, have found their earthly stock of hatred and antipathy transmuted into golden love” (246).
Chapter 24
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Dimmesdale and Chillingworth strong hatred for each other made them dependent on the other to the point that one of them could not survive without the other.
“But there was a more real life for Hester Prynne here, in New England, than in that unknown region where Pearl had found a home. Here had been her sin; here, her sorrow; and here was yet to be her penitence. She had returned, therefore, and resumed,—of her own free will, for not the sternest magistrate of that iron period would have imposed it,—resumed the symbol of which we have related so dark a tale. Never afterwards did it quit her bosom. But . . . the scarlet letter ceased to be a stigma which attracted the world’s scorn and bitterness, and became a type of something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe, and yet with reverence, too” (248).
Chapter 24
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: The scarlet letter will forever be part of Hester’s identity, but it becomes a symbol of redemption and individuality, not sin, and it teaches other to overcome difficulties in their life.
“It was near that old and sunken grave, yet with a space between, as if the dust of the two sleepers had no right to mingle. Yet one tombstone served for both” (249).
Chapter 24
Speaker: Narrator
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: Representative of their life together; Hester and Dimmesdale were separated, but connected to each other through their sin. It also shows that the society forgives them.
“On a field, sable, the letter A, gules” (250).
Chapter 24
Speaker: N/A
Spoken to: N/A
Who/What is described: The motto on Hester and Dimmesdale’s tombstone. The scarlet letter symbolizes their eternal union.

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