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'The Scarlet Letter' Quotes

Nathaniel Hawthorne's Famous Novel

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The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne

W.W. Norton & Co.
The Scarlet Letter Quotes

Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, his famous tale of adultery and alienation, in 1850. The novel has become a popular (and sometimes controversial) focus of literary study in American literature. Here are a few quotes from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  • "One token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another."
    - The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "Ah, but let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart."
    - The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvellous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it."
    - The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "A bodily disease, which we look upon as whole and entire within itself, may, after all, be but a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part."
    - The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "A pure hand needs no glove to cover it."
    - The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "It is to the credit of human nature, that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates. Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will even be transformed to love, unless the change be impeded by a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility."
    - The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "Let men tremble to win the hand of woman, unless they win along with it the utmost passion of her heart! Else it may be their miserable fortune, when some mightier touch than their own may have awakened all her sensibilities, to be reproached even for the calm content, the marble image of happiness, which they will have imposed upon her as the warm reality."
    - The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "She had wandered, without rule or guidance, into a moral wilderness. Her intellect and heart had their home, as it were, in desert places, where she roamed as freely as the wild Indian in his woods. The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers - stern and wild ones - and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss."
    - The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "But this had been a sin of passion, not of principle, nor even purpose."
    - The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom."
    - The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • "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."
    - The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

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