He will be able to give his Election Sermon and "fulfill his public duties" before escaping. Indecency is a creation, not of God or of nature, but of the indecent. Let the black flower blossom as it may! But this method would baffle Chillingworth's revenge just where he designed it to be most effective; for, by leaving the sinner with no load of secret guilt in his heart, it is inadvertently merciful in its very unmercifulness.
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Likewise, his works all display similar elements such as the portrayal of a dark and dismal human nature, setting operating as a character, as well as similarities in characters. The perfectibility of man being infinite, the best man and the worst man alike must fall infinitely short of perfection: but every one can account honestly for such talents as he has; and it is always the motive, never the achievement, the sincerity, not the sound, that Divine Justice regards.
The devil is always anxious to be enlisted against himself, but his reasons are tolerably transparent.
At night and always with the physician, the letter is associated with darkness and evil; in the other associations, it is a part of nature, passion, lawlessness, and imagination.
She is natural law unleashed, the freedom of the unrestrained wilderness, the result of repressed passion. As the story progresses, Dimmesdale begins to grow paler and weaker, and constantly clutches his heart.
The individuals are there, and could at need be particularlized sharply enough; but that part of them which we are concerned with lies so far beneath the surface as inevitably to exhibit more of general than of personal characteristics. The ill-assorted pair make their first home in Amsterdam; but at length, tidings of the Puritan colony in Massachusetts reaching them, they prepare to emigrate thither.
In a word, society, as at present administered, presents the unhandsome spectacle of a majority of successful hypocrites, on one side, contending against a minority of discovered criminals, on the other; and we are reduced to this paradox, — that the salvation of humanity depends primarily on the victory of the criminals over the hypocrites.
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