According to Hawthorne, the consequence of sin is mental deterioration as represented by Reverend Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale is a priest that has committed a vile crime, although only a scanty amount of people know about it. Dimmesdale has not publically announced his sin, which in turn worsens his mental health due to guilt. Dimmesdale stood in front of the town when his past lover, Hester, was being publically humiliated and never uttered a word, only placed “his hand upon his heart” (59). The consequence of not admitting his immoral sin was ultimate guilt. Dimmesdale suffered through each day with the unbending remorse for what he had done. This sin deteriorated Dimmesdale’s mental health, leaving him with minute strength and power. Dimmesdale
Nathanial Hawthorne sets the climax of The Scarlet Letter up in his telling of the scaffold scene. Throughout the scene Hawthorne utilizes parallelism, a subtle spiritual allusion and a heavy dose of irony in order to resolve the main conflict of the book, Dimmesdale’s refusal to tell the truth. Hawthorne presents the scene at a very quick pace; which appeases his audience compared to the slower pace set in earlier chapters.
Although his actions and decisions seem to be bad, the character gets sympathized for his internal struggles. Afraid of revealing his sin to the public shows his lack of courage. A reason for this lack of courage is due to puritan beliefs. The puritans had religious exclusiveness that was the foremost principle of their society. The Puritans were strict and had punishments for everything especially adultery. In chapter 3 , “The Recognition”,Dimmesdale pleads Hester to tell who the partner in the sin was but she refuses. “She will not speak!” murmurs Mr. Dimmesdale, who was leaning over the balcony, with his hand upon his heart …” This quote shows how Dimmesdale is accusing Hester of not admitting who sinned with her when he did not. The placement of Dimmesdale 's hand over his heart later on is revealed that he has a his own letter carved in his chest. By putting his hand on his chest he is reminded of his cowardice for letting Hester take the full blame of infidelity. During the years Dimmesdale becomes tormented by the dichotomy between what he is and what people believe him to be. His parishioners are "hungry for the truth" and listen to his words as if "a tongue of Pentecost were speaking!". Even though the people listen to him and believe everything he says he still lacks the courage to tell them his sin. He bears his shame alone. This shows that Dimmesdale suffers from his reputation with his society but also shows his cowardness. Dimmesdale was becoming more popular His hypocrisy shows from the beginning when he calls Hester out for not talking the truth but he himself is too scared to tell due to how he is viewed in this society. He can 't be classified as evil or purely
Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, also the father of Hester’s child, showed prominent parts of his character throughout the story. The first trait the reader becomes aware of is Dimmesdale’s cowardice. He has no intentions of revealing his sin to the public, due to how highly he is seen in the community’s eyes. Remorse, or guilt, is another term that can be associated with Dimmesdale, growing increasingly more prominent as the novel goes on.
When considering the term “narcissism,” one often conjures up the image of a conceited, self-absorbed person who excessively praises their own perfection. However, narcissism as a psychological disorder is much deeper. According to licensed mental health counselor Michael Samsel, narcissism is best described as “organizing one 's life around the goal of being superior.” And yet, “superiority is not just about learning to do one or more things well, it is about hiding any evidence of imperfection in other areas” (Samsel). A narcissistic personality often causes turmoil, with the ever-present black hole of self-importance potentially manifesting into an abusive relationship. In The Scarlet Letter, a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a narcissistic personality is seen in the character of Dimmesdale, the reverend in the Puritan town of 17th century Boston, and secret lover of Hester Prynne. Hester, having given birth to a child out of wedlock, is forced to wear the letter “A” on her chest as punishment for her adultery. She is ceaselessly insulted and ostracized by the other Puritans for the rest of her time in the town. Meanwhile, Hester refuses to reveal who her lover is and thus, Dimmesdale is able to maintain his facade of a pure and holy reverend. However, Dimmesdale belittles Hester’s suffering while punishing himself out of shame, revealing his narcissistic tendencies.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale commits a mortal sin by having an affair with a married woman, Hester Prynne. As a man of the cloth in Puritan society, Dimmesdale is expected to be the embodiment of the town’s values. He becomes captive to a self-imposed guilt that manifests from affair and his fear that he won’t meet the town’s high expectations of him. In an attempt to mitigate this guilt, Dimmesdale acts “piously” and accepts Chillingworth’s torture, causing him to suffer privately, unlike Hester who repented in the eyes of the townspeople. When Dimmesdale finally reveals his sin to the townspeople, he is able to free himself from his guilt.
Dimmesdale attempts to inform his congregation of his terrible sin: “He had told his hearers that he was altogether vile, a viler companion of the vilest, the worst of sinners, an abomination, a thing of unimaginable iniquity... They [his congregation] heard it all, and did but reverence him the more” (114). Dimmesdale truly reveals the fact of his unholiness, but fails to reference any details to his congregation. They paint him in an even holier light, and understand that only a true saint like Dimmesdale can call himself unholy in this way. However, Dimmesdale’s conscience is wrecked, because he is unable to reveal his sin, despite his multiple public attempts, and his anguish lingers. Similarly, Dimmesdale envies the closure that Hester’s punishment has brought her: “‘Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly open your bosom! Mine burns in secret!’” (151). In this dialogue, Dimmesdale articulates how differently their sin has been treated. In Hester’s case, public punishment initially brought disapproval, but eventually led her to charity and a general acceptance by members of the society. However, Dimmesdale’s strong conscience will not rest while his sin goes unpunished, leaving him with a burning desire for both penalty and disclosure. It is illustrated that Dimmesdale’s conscience is plagued after his sin, and this distress intensifies once he learns of Hester’s new place in society, as a matronly figure. Dimmesdale’s hiding of sin and internalization of guilt damages his conscience and tears apart his
The townspeople believe that Dimmesdale is doing God’s work with his determination to reveal the identity of this sinner so he can, “stand beside [Hester], on [her] pedestal of shame,” (62), but the only person who truly understands the meaning of Dimmesdale’s words is Hester, as she is the only person who knows he is the fellow adulterer. He reveals the information that he, “hath not the courage,” (62) to reveal himself, so he asks Hester to do it for him, so he can, “step down from [his] high place,” (62) to have his own public shaming; to relieve his guilt.
The relationship between Pearl and Reverend Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter is one that both intrigues the reader and keeps them wanting to find out more. At the beginning of the story nothing is very clear about Pearl’s father but as you read on there are many cues that lead you to Reverend Dimmesdale, the pastor of the church where Pearl’s mother, Hester Prynne, was a member. Through all the twists and turns there are a few things that stick out in the readers mind such as the progression of their relationship, the behavior and psychology of Pearl and how the novel could be seen as a story almost all about Pearl.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a novel that focuses on sin in the Puritan society. Hawthorne revolves the theme around the four main characters Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Roger Chillingworth., and Pearl. Hester Prynne is forced to wear the scarlet letter ‘A’ after committing adultery against her husband Roger Chillingworth, with the minister Arthur Dimmesdale. As a result an odd child is born. Dimmesdale never admits that he is a father of the child, and is forced to suffer alone in guilt, while Roger Chillingworth seeks revenge. Hawthorne is known for his incorporation of symbolism into his writing. One of the most complex and misunderstood symbols is Pearl. She is a unique character. Often known as the product of her
Nathaniel Hawthorne, a famous American author from the antebellum period, notices the emphasis on individual freedoms in the works by Ralph Waldo Emerson and other Transcendentalists during his residency in the Brook Farm’s community. In response to these ideas, Hawthorne writes The Scarlet Letter, a historical novel about Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale’s lives as they go through ignominy, penance, and deprecation from their Puritan community to express their strong love for each other. Their love, even though it is true, is not considered as holy nor pure because of Hester past marriage to Roger Chillingworth, and thus Hester gained the Scarlet Letter for being an adulterer. Hawthorne utilizes biblical allusions, such as the stories of
When the Reverend Dimmesdale tells his congregation the he is the worst of all sinners, the congregation becomes fussy and very upset over the fact that he has been a liar and a hypocrite.
In the book The scarlet letter , Nathaniel Hawthorne questions the reader by questioning whether it is okay to punish sinners since we all have committed sins. Scarlet letter takes place in massachustes in new england in the time of colonization of the new world.at the time massachustes is very religious and the church has alot of power over the people, they control almost evry aspect of their life and punish thoose who commit sins. Dimmesdale is the head of the church in salem massachusetts and he is defined by how people admired him and how people liked him, this traits affect the theme and other characters in the story because it makes dimmesdale look pure and sin free making people make wrong assumption and decisions when it come to dimmesdale.
Arthur Dimmesdale, the minister, a clergyman had committed the horrid sin of adultery, the same sin as Hester. Dimmesdale’s holy affiliation gave him a kind and pure disposition and this was solidified by his dimwittedness, making him seem almost childlike. By having a character with these qualities, Hawthorne contradicts the stereotype he has set up by having Dimmesdale be “unworth...[y] to [complete his] humblest mission” (71), a quality virtually unheard of among ministers. The author then has Dimmesdale confess his “sin so awfully revealed!”(211) in order for both Hester and Dimmesdale to redeem themselves of sin and restore the goodness. Hawthorne wanted his readers to understand that two people who have sinned can seek forgiveness and receive it.
First, she tells him that he has aided the others in spirituality. Hester specifically said, “The people reverence thee, and surely thou workest good among them! Doth this bring thee no comfort?" (Hawthorne 172) She is trying to say that the people look up to him and that this should ease his mind. Dimmesdale then replied that it only brought him more misery. He also said, "As concerns the good which I may appear to do, I have no faith in it. It must needs be a delusion. What can a ruined soul like mine effect towards the redemption of other souls?--or a polluted soul towards their purification?” (Hawthorne 172) This only made his guilt worsen. Dimmesdale does not feel passionate when he is trying to do job. The people are only imagining getting help because his tainted soul could not possibly redeem other souls. He feels as if he is cheating those people in their faith. Hester then tries to rebuttal by saying “Your present life is not less holy, in very truth, than it seems in people's eyes. Is there no reality in the penitence thus sealed and witnessed by good works?” She now tells him that his deeds and actions are real, so they must be helping these people. In her words, his sin is being overshadowed by his works. All of these comforting do nothing and Dimmesdale guilt