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SparkNotes: The Scarlet Letter: Chapters 19

the scarlet letter chapter 20 quotes

It remarkably characterized the incomplete morality of the age, rigid as we call it, that a licence was allowed the seafaring class, not merely for their freaks on shore, but for far more desperate deeds on their proper element. Assuredly, as the minister looked back, he beheld an expression of divine gratitude and ecstasy that seemed like the shine of the celestial city on her face, so wrinkled and ashy pale. The Puritans fled Europe out of the desire to live in a place where they would not need to hide their religious affiliations or fear the sanctions of others. He is expressing to her that he doesn't feel worthy to lead the church because of what he has done. 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.


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Notes on Chapter 20 from The Scarlet Letter

the scarlet letter chapter 20 quotes

Within the novel, they simply seem to have re-created the old order in the new world. But methinks, dear sir, you look pale, as if the travel through the wilderness had been too sore for you. I will not lose the child! On this public holiday, as on all other occasions for seven years past, Hester was clad in a garment of coarse gray cloth. But, here, in the sunny day, and among all the people, he knows us not; nor must we know him! The good old man addressed him with the paternal affection and patriarchal privilege which his venerable age, his upright and holy character, and his station in the church, entitled him to use and, conjoined with this, the deep, almost worshipping respect, which the minister's professional and private claims alike demanded. This phenomenon, in the various shapes which it assumed, indicated no external change, but so sudden and important a change in the spectator of the familiar scene, that the intervening space of a single day had operated on his consciousness like the lapse of years.


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The Scarlet Letter Chapter 19

the scarlet letter chapter 20 quotes

If he could simply leave, he never would have to truly confront the full scope of his sin, not just the adultery, but also his hypocritical failure to take responsibility for an act he repeatedly condemned to his congregation. I longed to kindle one! The mother receives a kiss from her child. On one side of the portal, and rooted almost at the threshold, was a wild rose-bush, covered, in this month of June, with its delicate gems, 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. He entered the accustomed room, and looked around him on its books, its windows, its fireplace, and the tapestried comfort of the walls, with the same perception of strangeness that had haunted him throughout his walk from the forest dell into the town and thitherward. The only truth that continued to give Mr. But he leaped across the plashy places, thrust himself through the clinging underbush, climbed the ascent, plunged into the hollow, and overcame, in short, all the difficulties of the track, with an unweariable activity that astonished him.


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Notes on Chapter 20 from The Scarlet Letter

the scarlet letter chapter 20 quotes

Without taking overmuch upon myself my good word will go far towards gaining any strange gentleman a fair reception from yonder potentate you wot of. As he peruses his desk, complete with his half-written Election Sermon, Chillingworth knocks on the door. As he drew near the town, he took an impression of change from the series of familiar objects that presented themselves. A landsman could hardly have worn this garb and shown this face, and worn and shown them both with such a galliard air, without undergoing stern question before a magistrate, and probably incurring a fine or imprisonment, or perhaps an exhibition in the stocks. A little half-heartedly and non-distinctly, but still. That event is very important stage of his life and that is why he delays the trip to the Old World for couple of day more. Summary—Chapter 20: The Minister in a Maze As the minister returns to town, he can hardly believe the change in his fortunes.

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Scarlet Letter Chapter 20 by Kaiena Conlon on Prezi

the scarlet letter chapter 20 quotes

No fear of scurvy or ship fever this voyage. Or is itand does actively choosing to be shamed and punished mean that she eventually gets forgiveness? With his meeting with Hester behind him, Dimmesdale finds a new reserve of energy which follows him through encounters with some of his parishioners. Come away, or yonder old Black Man will catch you! Dimmesdale stands on the scaffold calling Hester, who slowly comes over to him. The minister stood white and speechless, with one hand on the Hebrew Scriptures, and the other spread upon his breast. Such was his sense of power over this virgin soul, trusting him as she did, that the minister felt potent to blight all the field of innocence with but one wicked look, and develop all its opposite with but a word. Why does he do so, mother? This section of the story is very vital in understand the relationship between Hester and the minister. We will learn that Pearl goes on to have a beautiful, happy life, in which she marries and keeps her mother close to her heart, without the ill effects of her torturous early life.

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The Scarlet Letter Quotes

the scarlet letter chapter 20 quotes

Nevertheless--to hold nothing back from the reader--it was because, on the third day from the present, he was to preach the Election Sermon; and, as such an occasion formed an honourable epoch in the life of a New England Clergyman, he could not have chanced upon a more suitable mode and time of terminating his professional career. The narrator infers that Pearl is happily married and living overseas in Europe. Pearl sees the empty spot on Hester chest where the scarlet letter use to be. . But why does he not wear it outside his bosom, as thou dost, mother? It seemed hardly the face of a man alive, with such a deathlike hue; it was hardly a man with life in him that tottered on his path so nervelessly, yet tottered, and did not fall! Yet all this, which would else have been such heavy sorrow, was made almost a solemn joy to her devout old soul, by religious consolations and the truths of Scripture, wherewith she had fed herself continually for more than thirty years. And there was Pearl, too, lightly dancing from the margin of the brook--now that the intrusive third person was gone--and taking her old place by her mother's side. Tempted by a dream of happiness, he had yielded himself with deliberate choice, as he had never done before, to what he knew was deadly sin.

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Chapters 17

the scarlet letter chapter 20 quotes

She notices that the Reverend has been to the forest, and encourages him to go with her next time. Likewise, Hester and Dimmesdale are failing in their attempt to follow a higher truth. Scorn, bitterness, unprovoked malignity, gratuitous desire of ill, ridicule of whatever was good and holy, all awoke to tempt, even while they frightened him. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Whether the witch had read the minister's thoughts or no, she came to a full stop, looked shrewdly into his face, smiled craftily, and--though little given to converse with clergymen--began a conversation.

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Chapter 21: “The New England Holiday”

the scarlet letter chapter 20 quotes

She is soon surrounded by many people who are trying to get a glimpse of the scarlet letter on her breast. Dimmesdale's own sermon, on the Sabbath after his vigil--to barter the transitory pleasures of the world for the heavenly hope that was to assume brighter substance as life grew dark around her, and which would gild the utter gloom with final glory. On this eventful day, moreover, there was a certain singular inquietude and excitement in her mood, resembling nothing so much as the shimmer of a diamond, that sparkles and flashes with the varied throbbings of the breast on which it is displayed. He slowly walks over to the scaffold and pillory. I went not into the forest to seek a potentate, neither do I, at any future time, design a visit thither, with a view to gaining the favour of such personage. After parting from the physician, the commander of the Bristol ship strolled idly through the market—place; until happening to approach the spot where Hester Prynne was standing, he appeared to recognize, and did not hesitate to address her.

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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne: Chapter 20

the scarlet letter chapter 20 quotes

However he refuses and avoids them because of he is scared of telling the truth. Such a spiritual sneer might have conceived, that, after sustaining the gaze of the multitude through several miserable years as a necessity, a penance, and something which it was a stern religion to endure, she now, for one last time more, encountered it freely and voluntarily, in order to convert what had so long been agony into a kind of triumph. Dimmesdale and this excellent and hoary-bearded deacon, it was only by the most careful self-control that the former could refrain from uttering certain blasphemous suggestions that rose into his mind, respecting the communion-supper. In fact, he sees things so differently that he almost becomes afraid for himself. It was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that it had all the effect of a last and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore; and which was of a splendor. O Hester Prynne, thou little, little knowest all the horror of this thing! As every mother is protective, Hester as a mother too is protective. Mistress Hibbins would say it is because his soul has been sold.

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The Scarlet Letter Chapter 20 Summary

the scarlet letter chapter 20 quotes

It is clear that Chillingworth now despises Hester, despite any early idea of returning to her in marriage. Then flinging the already written pages of the Election Sermon into the fire, he forthwith began another, which he wrote with such an impulsive flow of thought and emotion, that he fancied himself inspired; and only wondered that Heaven should see fit to transmit the grand and solemn music of its oracles through so foul an organ pipe as he. Their immediate posterity, the generation next to the early emigrants, wore the blackest shade of Puritanism, and so darkened the national visage with it, that all the subsequent years have not sufficed to clear it up. Chapters 19—20 Summary—Chapter 19: The Child at the Brook-Side Hester calls to Pearl to join her and Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale reached home, his inner man gave him other evidences of a revolution in the sphere of thought and feeling. Three times, he meets people of his congregation, and each time he is tempted to do something terrible.

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