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Hester Prynne Quotes

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Bridgette Lamando

on 5 May 2014

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Transcript of Hester Prynne Quotes

A Rosebush of Characters
By Bridgette Lamando, Molly Carroll, Abbi Wilson, and Grace Powers
Hester Prynne
Main character of the novel, the adulterer and wearer of the scarlet "A"
Sent ahead of her husband to journey to the New World, and committed adultery while waiting for him
Faces public notoriety for her sin
Strong and defiant, but also helpful in her community
Mother of Pearl
Lives on the outskirts of town, between civilization and the woods
Quotes about Hester Prynne
“And never had Hester Prynne appeared more lady-like, in the antique interpretation of the term, than as she issued from the prison.” (50-51) Chapter 2

"The letter was the symbol of her calling. Such helpfulness was found in her,—so much power to do, and power to sympathize,—that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength." (146) Chapter 13
Themes in relation to Hester:
Daughter of Hester Prynne and Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale
Great treasure to Hester because Hester is lonely and ostracized from society
Hester gave up her reputation for Pearl
Free-spirited, confident, smart
Pearl
Changes in Pearl Throughout the Book
Maturity and Innocence
Born into a difficult situation
Truth
Social standing
embodies transcendentalist belief of childish nature
Youth and Innocence
Outward appearance reflects her inner soul
How Hester Prynne Changes
Throughout the Book


Independence
Self-Reliance
Personal Strength
Individualism vs. Society
Sin
Change
Appearance vs Reality
Quotes from Roger Chillingworth
“No matter whether love or hate; no matter whether or right or wrong! Thou and thine, Hester Prynne, belong to me. My home is where thou art, and where he is. But betray me not!” (71) Chapter 4

Roger Chillingworth
Hester Prynne's husband
Old, scholarly, deformed
Roger Chillingworth is not his real name
Became town physician, referred to as a leech for this reason
Spends much of his time trying to ''cure'' Dimmesdale
Changes in Chillingworth
Becomes more and more obsessed over Hester's sin
Becomes more "misshapen" and grew "duskier" (102) Chapter 8
Reason for living becomes revenge
Eventually becomes pure evil - dies when his victim is no longer there to torture
Themes in relation to Chillingworth
Evil
Revenge
Corruption
Knowledge
Desperation
Public opinion
Appearance
Rebellious spirit
Reverend Mr. Arthur Dimmesdale
The adulterer with Hester Prynne
Buries himself in guilt for his sin of committing adultery as the story goes on, but never comes out and confesses to it
Eventually dies of guilt and shame
Quotes about Dimmesdale
"Inward trouble drove him to practices more in accordance with the old, corrupted faith of Rome than with the better light of the church in which he had been born and bred. In Mr. Dimmesdale's secret closet, under lock and key, there was a bloody scourge. Oftentimes, this Protestant and Puritan divine had plied it on his own shoulders, laughing bitterly at himself the while, and smiting so much the more pitilessly because of the bitter laugh." (131) Chapter 11
Narrator (Hawthorne's Persona)
Unnamed Customhouse surveyor
Writing 200 years after the events he describes took place
Very similar to Hawthorne but is not to be mistaken as Hawthorne himself
Themes in relation to Dimmesdale
Guilt
Self-Mutilation
Shame
Hypocrisy
Changes seen in Dimmesdale
Appearance
Sermons become darker
Cries out in pain
Eventually dies of his sin
Sympathy
Identity
"Knowledge"
Human condition
Quotes from the Narrator
"But there was a more real life for Hester Prynne here, in New England, than in that unknown region where Pearl had found a home. Here had been her sin; here, her sorrow; and here was yet to be her penitence. She had returned, therefore, and resumed,—of her own free will," (117) Chapter 24
Themes the Narrator Displays
Minor Characters:
Governor Bellingham
Mistress Hibbins
Custom House Worker
Gossips
Black Man
Master Brackett
Sparking Questions
Why does Hester come back and why does she keep wearing the scarlet letter?
What is on Dimmesdale's chest? What does this represent about his character?
Why does Pearl change so dramatically at the end of the story?
Is it possible that the three scaffold scenes are related in some type of symbolic or metaphorical way? How?
What made Pearl such a free spirit? Was it the situation she grew up in or her natural character? (nature vs. nurture)
Are other children born, who are not mentioned in the novel, like Pearl in that they are part of the next generation with new thoughts and ideas about society?
Themes in Relation to Pearl:
Innocence and youthfulness
Sin/ Blessing
Rebellion
Individuality
Truth
Maturity
“Mother,” said little Pearl, “the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom. . . . It will not flee from me, for I wear nothing on my bosom yet!" (165) Chapter 16

"None, - save the freedom of a broken law," answered Mr. Dimmesdale," (122) Chapter 10

Quotes in relation to Pearl
Quote from Minor Characters
“Goodwives,” said a hard-featured dame of fifty, “I’ll tell ye a piece of my mind. It would be greatly for the public behoof, if we women, being of mature age and church-members in good repute, should have the handling of such malefactresses as this Hester Prynne. What think ye, gossips? If the hussy stood up for judgment before us five, that are now here in a knot together, would she come off with such a sentence as the worshipful magistrates have awarded? Marry, I trow not!” (38) Chapter 2
Themes Minor Characters Represent
Society - the villian
What Hester and Pearl were rebelling against
Changes of minor Characters over time
Society had the most visible change
Began to look at the Scarlet Letter "A" as Able instead of Adulterer

Society
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