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The Scarlet Letter
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The Scarlet Letter
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  • Here, in a word—and it is a rare instance in my life—I had met with a person thoroughly adapted to the situation which he held.
  • The edifice—originally projected on a scale adapted to the old commercial enterprise of the port, and with an idea of subsequent prosperity destined never to be realized—contains far more space than its occupants know what to do with.
  • So little adapted is the atmosphere of a Custom-house to the delicate harvest of fancy and sensibility, that, had I remained there through ten Presidencies yet to come, I doubt whether the tale of "The Scarlet Letter" would ever have been brought before the public eye.
  • It had the graveyard, originally Isaac Johnson’s home-field, on one side, and so was well adapted to call up serious reflections, suited to their respective employments, in both minister and man of physic.
  • The unlikeliest materials—a stick, a bunch of rags, a flower—were the puppets of Pearl’s witchcraft, and, without undergoing any outward change, became spiritually adapted to whatever drama occupied the stage of her inner world.
  • So much strength of colouring, which must have given a wan and pallid aspect to cheeks of a fainter bloom, was admirably adapted to Pearl’s beauty, and made her the very brightest little jet of flame that ever danced upon the earth.
  • Not to speak of the clergyman’s health, so inadequate to sustain the hardships of a forest life, his native gifts, his culture, and his entire development would secure him a home only in the midst of civilization and refinement; the higher the state the more delicately adapted to it the man.
  • It comprised a variety of instruments, perhaps imperfectly adapted to one another, and played with no great skill; but yet attaining the great object for which the harmony of drum and clarion addresses itself to the multitude—that of imparting a higher and more heroic air to the scene of life that passes before the eye.

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  • Ideas contained in passages for this test, some of which are excerpted or adapted from published material, do not necessarily represent the opinions of the College Board.
  • This passage is adapted from Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man ©1952.

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