character

Hester Prynne Quotes

Eight of the best book quotes from Hester Prynne
  1. #1
    “They averred that the symbol was not mere scarlet cloth tinged in an earthly dyepot, but was red-hot with infernal fire, and could be seen glowing all alight whenever Hester Prynne walked abroad in the nighttime. And we must needs say it seared Hester’s bosom so deeply, that perhaps there was more truth in the rumor than our modern incredulity may be inclined to admit.”
  2. #2
    “She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom.”
  3. #3
    “Thus the young and pure would be taught to look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast,—at her, the child of honorable parents,—at her, the mother of a babe, that would hereafter be a woman, —at her, who had once been innocent, —as the figure, the body, the reality of sin”
  4. #4
    “Thou shalt forgive me! cried Hester, flinging herself on the fallen leaves beside him. Let God punish! Thou shalt forgive!”
  5. #5
    “It was none the less a fact, however, that, in the eyes of the very men who spoke thus, the scarlet letter had the effect of the cross on a nun’s bosom.”
  6. #6
    “Else, I should long ago have thrown off these garments of mock holiness, and have shown myself to mankind as they will see me at the judgment-seat. Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom! Mine burns in secret! Thou little knowest what a relief it is, after the torment of a seven years’ cheat, to look into an eye that recognizes me for what I am!”
  7. #7
    “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.”
  8. #8
    “The judgment of God is on me, answered the conscience-stricken priest. It is too mighty for me to struggle with! Heaven would show mercy, rejoined Hester, hadst thou but the strength to take advantage of it.”