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Scarlet Letter Chapters 18 and 19

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Megan DeMuth

on 7 October 2013

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Transcript of Scarlet Letter Chapters 18 and 19

Scarlet Letter Chapters 18 and 19
Chapter 18 Summary
Chapter 18 quotes
"The scarlet letter was her passport into religions where other women dared not to tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers-stern and wild ones- and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss." (Hawthorn 179)

"Oh, Hester, thou art my better angel! I seem to have flung myself- sick, sin-stained and sorrow blackened- down upon these forest leaves, and to have risen up all made anew, and with new powers to glorify Him that hath been merciful! This is already the better life!"
Key Scenes
Key Quotes Explained
As talked about in chapter 17, Hester and Dimsdale decide to move to Europe
Hester talks about how her scarlet letter took her places where no other women dared to go and how it made her strong.
Dimmesdale feels joy again and tells Hester that the decision to move made him feel like he had rose from the dead.
The scarlet letter is removed from Hester and she throws it into the distance
Hester and Dimmesdale talk about their new life in Europe as a family with Pearl
Hester takes off her scarlet letter and this shows how taking it off makes it feel like it was never there and the past was gone. Taking off the scarlet letter also revealed her true beauty and youthfulness again
Pearl appears and the sun and animals all come out. Darkness in the forest vanished like their sorrows

The first quote shows how Hester's letter had changed her life in many ways. It didn't just have people judge her, but it also took her to believe different things and had taught her many lessons along the way.

The second quote, spoken by Dimmesdale, shows how moving to England changed him from feeling sick and deathly to brightening up his life.
Key Scenes
Pearl asking Hester to put back on her A is a key part because after putting it back on, Hester feels like she has reverted to her sad self again.
Dimmesdale has a hard time talking with Pearl and he tells Hester about how children don't like him
At one point, Dimmesdale kisses Pearl, but she runs off and tries to wash it in the stream
Chapter 19 Quotes
"Children will not abide any, the slightest, change in the accustomed aspect of things that are daily before their eyes. Pear misses something that she has always seen me wear"

Key Quotes Explained
This quote shows how Hester realizes pearl won't love her the same if she is missing the scarlet letter and after she puts it on how Hester feels like her own self again.
Chapter 19 Summary
appease the anger or anxiety of (someone).
lessen temper
some people find that taking deep breaths helps to mollify them

Puritan or Transcendentalist?
I find that in this chapter transcendentalist views are favored. I think this because the idea of choosing to leave and move to England to get away from their sorrows is something the Puritains would like doing. Also Dimmesdale, being a minister, has a hard time knowing whether or not leaving would be a good idea

Another transcendentalist view in this chapter is Pearl as she enters the woods and animals and sunlight is shown
Puritan or Transcendentalism
After telling Pearl about their new life in England, Hester calls over Pearl.
Pearl doesn't come past the creek until Hester puts back on the Scarlet Letter
Hester doesn't tell Pearl he is her father and Pearl has a hard time welcoming Dimmesdale
After being forced to, Pearl talks with Dimmesdale and asks him to walk with her and Hester in to the town.
I think that this shows Transcendentalism because Pearl's thought of the scarlet letter needing to be there carried with her from birth, just like how transcendentalists think that the moral and intuition are present and carried with you from birth
Full transcript