21 Best 'The Scarlet Letter' Quotes By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Srija Chanda
Jan 29, 2024 By Srija Chanda
Originally Published on Jan 27, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Black and white picture Nathaniel Hawthorne
Age: 0-99
Read time: 4.3 Min

'The Scarlet Letter' is considered to be one of the best historical romance novels ever written.

Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the novel focuses on the story of a lady named Hester who had committed what was considered the worst sin at the time, which is getting pregnant through adultery, and so further publicly shamed in society. She was made to wear the scarlet letter as a symbol of her sin. However, over the course of the plot, the scarlet letter becomes more of a symbol of penance and innocence to Hester, which is her characteristic trait.

The main message of 'The Scarlet Letter' focuses on exploring the themes of the Puritan hypocritical nature of society and is loosely based on the life and shame of Elizabeth Pain who was known to have had a new baby out of wedlock with a man. There are many interesting quotes about nature, sin, Nathaniel Hawthorne and more for you to read. These quotes are thought-provoking and a historical account of these Puritanical times.

Here is a list of some quotes from the book. If you like our quotes and examples, you may also check out our other articles like 'The Handmaid's Tale' quotes and 'The Book Thief' quotes.

Hester Prynne Quotes

Woman buying books from a book store

If you are looking for some quotes by Hester Prynne from this novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, you will like this list which contains interesting and fascinating quotes for you.

1. "With a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbors."

-Chapter two, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

2. "The days of the far-off future would toil onward, still with the same burden for her to take up and bear along with her."

-Chapter five, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

3. "My child must seek a heavenly father; she shall never know an earthly one."

-Chapter three, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

4. "It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and inclosing her in a sphere by herself."

-Chapter two, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

5. "Some attribute had departed from her, the permanence of which had been essential to keep her a woman."

-Chapter 13, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

6. "They said it meant able, so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength."

-Chapter 13, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

7. "So speaking, she undid the clasp that fastened the scarlet letter."

-Chapter 18, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

8. "Some attribute had departed from her, the permanence of which had been essential to keep her a woman."

-Chapter 13, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

9. "She had returned, therefore, and resumed – of her own free will… resumed the symbol."

-Chapter 24, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

Important Scarlet Letter Quotes

Are you looking for some quotes about 'The Scarlet Letter' itself as well as quotes of different characters and quotes about them as well? Here is a list you might like to share with people, even though they may not have heard

10. "There was an air about this young minister, --an apprehensive, a startled, a half-frightened look, - as of a being who felt himself quite astray and at a loss in the pathway of human existence."

-Arthur Dimmesdale, chapter three, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

11. "At every step he was incited to do some strange, wild, wicked thing."

-Arthur Dimmesdale, chapter 20,'The Scarlet Letter'.

12. "It irks me, nevertheless, that the partner of her iniquity should not, at least, stand on the scaffold by her side."

-Roger Chillingworth, chapter three, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

13. "I have already told thee what I am! A fiend! Who made me so?"

-Roger Chillingworth, chapter three, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

14. "Trusting no man as his friend, he could not recognize his enemy when the latter actually appeared."

-Arthur Dimmesdale, chapter nine, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

15. "That little creature, whose innocent life had sprung, by the inscrutable decree of Providence…out of the rank luxuriance of passion."

-Pearl, chapter six, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

16. "How could I delude myself with the idea that intellectual gifts might veil physical deformity in a young girl’s fantasy?"

-Roger Chillingworth, chapter three, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

17. "Throughout all, however, there was a trait of passion, a certain depth of hue, which she never lost."

-Pearl, chapter six, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

18."I am but a child. It will not flee from me; for I wear nothing on my bosom yet."

-Pearl, chapter 16, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

19. "The mother-forest and these wild things which it nourished, all recognized a kindred wildness in the human child."

-Pearl, chapter 18, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

20.  "At last, I stand upon the spot where, seven years since, I should have stood."

-Arthur Dimmesdale, chapter 23, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

21. "It is because of the stain which that letter indicates, that we would transfer thy child to other hands. "

-Governer Bellingham, chapter eight, 'The Scarlet Letter'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'The Scarlet Letter' quotes then why not take a look at Charlotte Bronte' quotes, or 'All The Light We Cannot See' quotes.

Main Image Editorial credit:Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com

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Written by Srija Chanda

Master of Arts specializing in Mass Communication/Media Studies

Srija Chanda picture

Srija ChandaMaster of Arts specializing in Mass Communication/Media Studies

An aspiring media professional, Srija is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Mass Communication at St. Xavier's University, Kolkata, after completing her degree in journalism. With experience in PR and social media, she has also honed her leadership skills through her participation in a youth parliament. Srija's interests include devouring books, watching movies, and exploring new places through travel.

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