"But there is a fatality, a feeling so irresistible and inevitable that it has the force of doom, which almost invariably compels human beings to linger around and haunt, ghostlike, the spot where some great and marked event has given the color to their lifetime; and still the more irresistibly, the darker the tinge that saddens it." Chapter 5
Context: Chapter 5 provides description of Hester's life after leaving prison and of her home on the outskirts of the colony.
Many of my students, upon realizing Hester lives with the very people who seem to hate her so much, immediately ask, "Why doesn't she just leave?" This quote explains one possible reason. To help students understand I have them try to think of a person or a place in their own lives that, though this place or relationship is emotionally unhealthy for them, they cannot seem to stay away. (Text-to-self.)
It seems like most everyone has something like this in their life. It is as if it is human nature to be drawn toward things that hurt us just a little bit. The explanation for why Hester chooses to remain in a town that so clearly shuns her might lie in this common human condition. For Hester, it may have been partly to punish herself because she feels guilty and partly to face her accusers with her held high. Many of us might also agree that we do the same thing. (Text-to-world.)
Now, if you can think of another character in any book you've read who deals with a challenge head on, whether out of guilt or pride, you have made a text-to-text connection in this quote.