The Scarlet Letter - Chapter 21

The Scarlet Letter - Chapter 21

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  • People come from far settlements to celebrate the installation of a new governor. Townsfolk, Native Americans, and sailors gather around the marketplace. 
  • On this public day, as on all other occasions, for seven years past, Hester was clad in a garment of coarse gray cloth
  • While Pearl attempts to understand why people crowd around the scaffold, she asks where Dimmesdale is and if he will acknowledge them as his family. 
  • "Be quiet, Pearl! Thou understandest not these things...Think not know of the minister, but look about thee..."
  • "And will the minister be there? And will he hold out both his hands to me as when thou ledst me to him from the brook-side?"
  • The ships' captain runs into Hester as they roam the marketplace and he explains to her that a doctor is accompanying them on the voyage. Ironically, the captain joyfully says that they do not need to worry because a doctor is in an arms' reach...
  • "What mean you? Have you another passenger?"
  • "Why, know you not, that this physician here- Chillingworth, he calls himself- is minded to try my cabin-fare with you?
  • "...the marketplace. It was already thronged with the craftsmen and other plebeian inhabitants of the town, in considerable numbers; among whom, like-wise, were many rough figures,...surrounded the little metropolis of the colony. (174)"
  • "In the dark night-time he calls us to him, and holds thy hand and mine, as when we stoop with him on the scaffold yonder...But here, in the sunny day, amoung all the people, he knows us not; nor must we know him! (176)"- Pearl
  • "No fear of scurvy or ship-fever this voyage! What with the ship's surgeon and this other doctor, our only danger will be from drug or pill... (180)" -Mariner
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