Quotes of Scarlet Letter

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Here are some examples of Nathaniel Hawthorne's most familiar quotes from The Scarlet Letter. In these examples, you will see how the author touches on deep psychological and romantic themes, heavily inspired by Puritan New England.

"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." Chapter I, 'The Prison-Door'

"One token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another." Chapter II, 'The Market-Place'

"Ah, but let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart." Chapter II, 'The Market-Place'

"'People say,' said another, 'that the Reverend Master Dimmesdale, her godly pastor, takes it very grievously to his heart that such a scandal has come upon his congregation." Chapter II, 'The Market-Place'

"In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvellous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it." Chapter II, 'The Market-Place'

"When he found the eyes of Hester Prynne fastened on his own, and saw that she appeared to recognize him, he slowly and calmly raised his finger, made a gesture with it in the air, and laid it on his lips." Chapter III, 'The Recognition'

"But she named the infant 'Pearl,' as being of great price- purchased with all she had- her mother's only pleasure." Chapter VI, 'Pearl'

"A bodily disease, which we look upon as whole and entire within itself, may, after all, be but a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part." Chapter X, 'The Leech and His Patient'

"He hath done a wild thing ere now, this pious Mr. Dimmesdale, in the hot passion of his heart!" Chapter X, 'The Leech and His Patient'

"A pure hand needs no glove to cover it." Chapter XII, 'The Minister’s Vigil'

"It is to the credit of human nature, that, except where its selfishness is...
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