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MonkeyNotes-The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne


PinkMonkey® Quotations on . . .

The Scarlet Letter

Quote:
The founders of a new colony, whatever Utopia of human virtue and happiness they might originally project, have invariably recognized it among their earliest practical necessities to allot a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as the site of a prison.

Attribution:
Narrator, ch. 1.

Quote:
On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A.

Attribution:
Narrator, ch. 2.

Referring to the scarlet letter of Hester Prynne, standing for Adulteress.

Quote:
We must not always talk in the market-place of what happens to us in the forest.

Attribution:
Hester Prynne, ch. 22.

Quote:
It is a good lesson-though it may often be a hard one-for a man who has dreamed of literary fame, and of making for himself a rank among the world's dignitaries by such means, to step aside out of the narrow circle in which his claims are recognized, and to find how utterly devoid of all significance, beyond that circle, is all that he achieves, and all he aims at.

Attribution:
Narrator, "The Custom-House," introduction.

Quote:
My fortune somewhat resembled that of a person who should entertain an idea of committing suicide, and, altogether beyond his hopes, meet with the good hap to be murdered.

Attribution:
Narrator, "The Custom-House," introduction.

Hawthorne was here relating the loss of his job as a customs surveyor in Salem, Massachusetts, as a result of political maneuvering; the blow was mitigated by his "previous weariness of office, and vague thoughts of resignation."

Quote:
It contributes greatly towards a man's moral and intellectual health, to be brought into habits of companionship with individuals unlike himself, who care little for his pursuits, and whose sphere and abilities he must go out of himself to appreciate.

Attribution:
Narrator, "The Custom-House," introduction.

 

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