Biblical ALlusions


In chapter one, Bullet is recalling the sound of his sister’s voice singing, “’Will there be any stars, any stars in my crown,’ that voice sang, ‘When at evening the sun goeth down? When I wake with the blest in the mansions of rest, will there be any stars in my crown.’” The lyrics are […]

A Pale Horse

In chapter 12, Tom is depressed because Becky isn’t at school and Aunt Polly, being an enthusiastic medicinal “experimenter,” seizes the opportunity to apply her knowledge to Tom’s case. Tom, however, is not impressed, saying, “She [Aunt Polly] gathered together her quack periodicals and her quack medicines, and thus armed with death, went about on […]

Streets of Gold

In chapter nine, the gravely ill Reverend Dimmesdale expresses his contentment with the prospect of death instead of accepting Roger Chillingworth’s medical treatment. Chillingworth’s replies, “Youthful men, not having taken a deep root, give up their hold of life so easily! And saintly men, who walk with God on earth, would fain be away, to […]


In chapter eight, Governor Bellingham says of Pearl, “…we might have judged that such a child’s mother must needs be a scarlet woman, and a worthy type of her of Babylon!” Those are hardly flattering words, but they are an allusion to one of the most stunning visuals offered in the last book of the […]