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Quotations From The Scarlet Letter Essay, Research Paper


1) “O father in heaven- if thou art still my father-what is this being which I have brought into the world!” P.66

2) “Behold, verily, there is the woman of the scarlet letter; and, of truth, moreover, there is the likeness of the scarlet letter running along by her side! Come, therefore, and let us fling mud at them!” P.70

3) “Thou must gather thine own sunshine. I have none to give thee.”" P.71

4) “This badge hath taught me- it daily teaches me- it is teaching me at this very moment- lessons where of my child may be the wiser and better, albeit they can profit nothing to myself.” P.76

5) “It is easy to see the mother’s part in her. Would it be beyond a philosopher’s research, think ye, gentlemen, to analyze that child’s nature, and, from its make and mould, to give a shrewd guess at the father?” P.79

6) “Pure as they deem him, – all spiritual as he seems, -hath inherited a strong animal nature from his father or his mother. Let us dig a little farther in the direction of this vein!” P.89


1) This quote struck me emotionally as soon as I had read it. To have suffered so much that you know that no mortal being loves you and to have to question the fact that even God loves you is incredible. Also, to think that a mother refuses a child that she birthed is nearly impossible. It deeply pained me to try to accept this, and caused an instant dislike and sorrow for Hester.

2) I did not like this quote especially, because like in biblical times they used her as a scapegoat. The people of the town blame everything on her. Trespasses are all forgotten save one, Hester’s. The Puritans had fled England for religious freedom, to follow the bible. In the bible, it says let he who has not sinned cast the first stone. Apparently these people are not true followers of God.

3) I was puzzled by this quote and had a hard time understanding it until I discovered that it was imagery used as an analogy. The sunshine that Hester speaks of is really happiness and she is telling her daughter, Pearl, that she must find it on her own because she herself has none left.

4) I can relate to Hester’s suffering. Although it is not as extreme, I often times am discriminated against, simply for the reason that my last name is Jewish. So as her badge teaches her, my name teaches me that there is still much hatred in the world today and that people will do whatever they can to make themselves seem better than somebody else.

5) At this place it is almost obvious that Hester and the minister have a greater connection than that of a teacher to a pupil. If I was to guess at their connection I would have to say that he was probably Pearl’s father.

6) As I read I discovered this literary imagery of digging in the veins of the minister to find out his past. The type of vein that they speak of is not one that carries blood, but one that you would mine in. As for his animal nature they can sense his instinctive, physical, and willful nature. This contradicts a minister’s ministry, because he should follow his heart and God, not his instincts

7) “Not to thee! But, if it be the soul’s disease, then I do commit myself to the one physician of the soul! He if it stand with His good pleasure, can cure; or He can kill! Let Him do with me as, in His justice and wisdom, He shall see good. But who art thou, that meddlest in the matter?- That dares thrust himself between the sufferer and his God.” P.94

8) “It lies not in the pleasure of the magistrates to take off this badge, were I worthy to be quit of it, it would fall away of its own nature, or be transformed into something that should speak of a different purport. P.116

9) “Hast thou not tortured him enough? Has he not paid thee all?” P.118

10) “And will he always keep his hand over his heart?” P.145

7) I didn’t understand this until the end, but at this point I knew that he had done something that damaged his spirit, not his physical body and that is why he said that only God could help him. No Earthly physician could help. He then convicts the man of trying to play God instead of accepting the fact that there was nothing he could do. The part where I became lost was where I didn’t know the crime he had committed, and therefore I couldn’t understand the pain his soul was going through. Also he was telling the physician not to judge lest he himself be judged too.

8) This was another passage that I have criticism for. Hester was treated unjustly by all and did not deserve to suffer the way that she was made to. I feel this way, because none of the other town’s people were treated harshly when they sinned. Hester repented for her sin and that was far better than any of the other townspeople. She was blamed for everything bad that the people did, and I feel that it was truly unfair.

9) This quote really stuck in my head after reading it. It symbolized how I feel, that once a debt is repaid there should no longer be a held grudge. I don’t understand how he could have done anything more than what he had already done. He was not perfect, only flesh and blood like the rest.

10) I had no idea of why Pearl obsessed about the reverend always holding his hand over his heart until the last few pages of the book. I had supposed that it was because he felt guilty for what he had done. I found out the whole truth later, that it was because he had a scarlet letter over his heart as well.


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