The Scarlet Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Scarlet Letter Chapter 15 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
Would he not suddenly sink into the earth, leaving a barren and blasted spot, where, in due course of time, would be seen deadly nightshade, dogwood, henbane, and whatever else of vegetable wickedness the climate could produce, all flourishing with hideous luxuriance? (15.1)
Nature isn't all rosebushes and dewdrops. It's also poison. Keep that in mind next time someone tells to be one with nature.
"Be it sin or no," said Hester Prynne bitterly, as she still gazed after him, "I hate the man!"
"Yes, I hate him!" repeated Hester, more bitterly than before. "He betrayed me! He has done me worse wrong than I did him!" (15.2-4)
You go, girl! Here, Hester has finally realizes that she's not the community's wrongdoer. Chillingworth has a lot of sin to answer for, too—like, convincing this young, beautiful woman to marry his old, scholarly, crippled self. (And then sending her all alone to the New World; not nice.)
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, as it was Roger Chillingworth's, 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. (15.5)
To the Puritans, marriage wasn't about love: it was about teaming up to make sure that life didn't kill you. You know, "You make sure the wolves don't get in, and I'll knit you a pair of socks." But Hawthorne is writing in the 1850, when most people agreed that you should at least have some warm feelings for the person you were planning to marry.