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I need quotes that represent the characters of Roger Chillingworth, Hester Prynne, and...

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jasenior2011 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 1, 2011 at 6:47 AM via web

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I need quotes that represent the characters of Roger Chillingworth, Hester Prynne, and Arthur Dimmesdale.

These quotes must come from The Scarlet Letter, or at least give me a reference to a chapter and the part to find it. Help please!

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 1, 2011 at 10:11 AM (Answer #1)

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While Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, an Early American novel, does not have the detailed character development evinced in more contemporary novels nor the dialogue that also reveals character traits, there are yet observations made by the narrator that characterize the three important personnages, Hester Pyrnne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth. 

As the reader peruses the novel, seeking pregnant passages, he/she may wish to select those passages representative of important traits, and those which indicate significant actions or ideas that relate to themes.  

Hester Prynne

Above all, the warfare of Hester's spirit at that epoch was perpetuated in Pearl. (5)

Like all other joys, she rejected it as sin. (5)

Alone in the world, cast off by it, and with this sole treasure to keep her heart alive, she felt that she possessed indefeasible rights against the world, and was ready to defend them to the death. (8)

Hester's nature showed itself warm and rich....She was self-ordained a Sister of Mercy....The letter was the symbol of her calling.  Such helpfulness was found in her,--so much power to do, ... sympathize,--it meant Able; so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman's strength. (13)

She assumed a freedom of speculation....In her lonesome cottage,...thoughts visited her such as dared to enter no other dwelling...(13)

... Was existence worth accepting even to the happiest among them?....At times a fearful doubt strove to possess her soul, whether it were not better to send Pearl at once to Heaven, and go herself to such futurity as Eternal Justice should provide.

The scarlet letter had not done its office (13)

...Hester Prynne...glanced her sad eyes downward at the scarlet letter...

Arthur Dimmesdale

...Arthur Dimmesdale, false to God and man, might be, for one moment true!(17)

"The judgment of God is on me...It is too mighty for me to struggle with!"(17)

"If .. I could recall one instant of peace or hope, I would yet endure, for the sake of that earnest of Heaven's mercy. But now...wherefore should I not snatch the solace allowed to the condemned culprit before his execution?...Neither can I any longer live without her companionship; so powerful is she to sustain,--so tender to soothe!  O Thou to whom I dare not lift mine eyes, wilt Thou yet pardon me?" (18)

No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true. (10

"Ha! tempter!  Methinks thou art too late!"..."Thy power is not what it was!  With God's help, I shall escape thee now!" (23)

"But there stood one in midst of you, at whose brand of sin and infamy ye have not shuddered!" (23)

"....It may be, that, when we forgot our God,--when we violated our reverence each for the other's soul,--it was thenceforth vain to hope that we could meet herafter, in an everlasting and pure reunion."(23)

Roger Chillingworth

[to Hester] "We have wronged each other" (4)

"He will be mine!" (4)

His form grew emaciated; his voice, though still rich and sweet, had a certain melancholy prophecy of decay in it. (9)

Had a man seen old Roger Chillinworth, at that moment of his ecstasy, he would have had no need to ask how Satan comports himself when a precious human soul is lost to heaven, and won into his kingdom. (10)

"Thou hast escaped me!" (23)

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