The Scarlet Letter Quotes by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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. Dimmesdale, in the hot passion of his heart! Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will even be transformed to love, unless the change be impeded by a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility. Else it may be their miserable fortune, when some mightier touch than their own may have awakened all her sensibilities, to be reproached even for the calm content, the marble image of happiness, which they will have imposed upon her as the warm reality. Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods.
Chillingworth speaks this line as he watches Hester being publicly shamed. He acknowledges the obvious reality that Hester did not get into her situation by herself, and he wants to see her lover also be punished. He assumes that his appearance made it impossible for her to love or desire him.
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The Scarlet Letter
The intellect of Roger Chillingworth had now a sufficiently plain path before it. It was not, indeed, precisely that which he had laid out for himself to tread. Calm, gentle, passionless, as he appeared, there was yet, we fear, a quiet depth of malice, hitherto latent, but active now, in this unfortunate old man, which led him to imagine a more intimate revenge than any mortal had ever wreaked upon an enemy. Hester is paying a hefty price for her crime, but public shaming and repentance is different from the "intimate revenge" that Chillingworth is planning. Wearing a scarlet letter is apparently appropriate revenge for a community to take; but psychologically torturing a man to death? That's taking things a little too far.
The Scarlet Letter by: Nathaniel Hawthorne. Chapter 10 The Leech and His Patient. Original Text Modern Text Old Roger Chillingworth, throughout life, had been calm in temperament, kindly, though not of warm affections, but ever, and in all his relations with the world, a pure and upright man. He had begun an investigation, as he imagined, with the severe and equal integrity of a judge, desirous only of truth, even as if the question involved no more than the air-drawn lines and figures of a geometrical problem, instead of human passions, and wrongs inflicted on himself. But, as he proceeded, a terrible fascination, a kind of fierce, though still calm, necessity seized the old man within its gripe, and never set him free again, until he had done all its bidding. Alas for his own soul, if these were what he sought! Old Roger Chillingworth had been a calm and kind man throughout his life.