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.
Throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne keeps his main focus on the character’s development and how they change/grow throughout the novel. Reverend Dimmesdale was a crucial character all throughout this novel. Dimmesdale, among other characters, showed much change, referring to the way he began to react towards other citizens, and growth, referring to his outcome at the end of the novel. There was abundant self-hate, irony, and guilt within Dimmesdale. Reverend Dimmesdale was a leader of the community, but also a sinner. He put on a different face for the citizens because he was a leader, but in reality he should have not been a leader.
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy,” (KJV 28:13). The message of this short proverb is simple: confess. Despite this, there are millions refusing to reveal their hidden atrocities to the oblivious public. But you don’t need public ridicule for a sin to destroy you, in fact, it would be better if you did confess. This is the ideology of Nathaniel Hawthorne author of The Scarlet Letter. In this book, Hawthorne details an elaborate story showing the consequences of confessing sins in contrast to concealing it. A sin weighing down on you and destroying you from the inside out is a moral consequence and, the only remedy is confessing the sin. This notion can be seen in the difference between Hester and Dimmesdale with how they handled the scarlet letter and the effects of that.
Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, one of the protagonists of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, stands as a highly conflicted character. The source of his divide stems from the consequences of private sins, and is prevalent within the first paragraphs of Chapter 12, “The Minister’s Vigil,” where the narration chronicles Dimmesdale’s surroundings as he dream walks through the town in a state of limbo. He is portrayed as a model citizen who lacks moral imperfections to the general public yet suffers privately from the juxtaposition of his sins to his position within the community. In this specific passage, Hawthorne uses somber diction and imagery to illustrate Dimmesdale’s strife, while portraying his internal conflict through the formation
Dimmesdale had achieved a brilliant popularity in his sacred office. He won it, indeed, in great part by his sorrows. (Hawthorne 128) The guilt of his sin has eaten him alive, so much that his visage and demeanor are almost cadaverous. Dimmesdale does not confess his sin until the end of the novel because he does not want to disappoint his congregation.
Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a multitude of imagery and symbolism to serve as metaphors for different themes in his novel The Scarlet Letter. The theme sin versus guilt, appears often throughout the novel. It is often accompanied by the symbol of the scarlet letter, serving as a constant reminder of the guilt each of the main characters carry, as a result of the sins they have committed. Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingworth and Arthur Dimmesdale each carry the burden of living a tainted life, being that they have all committed a sin. Hester and Dimmesdale both committed the ultimate sin of adultery.
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. Hawthorne makes clear the thoughts of Dimmesdale by continuously repeating them. Dimmesdale is up on the scaffold and wants nothing more than for Hester and Pearl to join him, “come hither!
One moral consequence of sin is guilt. In Dimmesdale's case his sin was a great one. He had committed adultery with a married women, Hester. Hester received her punishment, but Dimmesdale goes unpunished, causing him to be ridden with guilt. Guilt was the culprit of all of Dimmesdale’s suffering. Guilt lead Dimmesdale to whip himself, starve himself, and possibly carve the scarlet letter into himself. His health depletes rapidly after Hester is publically shamed but he is allowed to continue his normal daily life. This creates unrest in Dimmesdale, he feels that he also deserves a punishment. Therefore, one night, Dimmesdale in his state of omnipresent guilt, goes to the scaffold, the one that Hester was publicly shamed on. While traveling
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.
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.
Guilt Obsession Within the novel The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathanial Hawthorne Reverend Dimmesdale drastically develops throughout the novel, from being a symbol of Puritan religion to displeasing the population of the Puritan expectations through his actions. His appearance as well as his privilege and prominence within the community alters radically. He begins the novel as the town reverend, and later, the shame of Hester accepting the entirety of the blame and the fact that he escaped with no punishment or shame from the town ultimately consumed him. Throughout the novel, it was revealed that he had a red mark on his chest in correlation to the “A” that was displayed on Hester’s chest.
However, he also uses these allusions to create a new side to his narrative as evident when he describes Hester’s resilience, and to create a new element in the plot as evident in his description of Dimmesdale’s penance and need for redemption. Therefore, Hawthorne demonstrates an effective use of allusions to craft a religious and detailed narrative for The Scarlet Letter by reviewing on parallels between the Bible and the novel’s main characters. There’s more to The Scarlet Letter than these allusions though, and there are many questions to answer about this book. These questions may never be answered fully, but by reading the novel itself, we might find the right places to start searching for answers and formulate our own opinions on the matter. What’s important from this novel is the realistic warning about what might happens when an individual place themselves too highly among others, a message Hawthorne writes to warn against the fervor of transcendentalism of his time.
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.
When we keep secrets we also keep guilt and guilt will destroy us from the inside. In the book of scarlet letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and how one woman who committed adultery with a character named dimmesdale who is the town revered. Dimmesdale kept secrets to maintaining his reputation but actions the guilt eats him from the inside. Dimmesdale the town revered for the puritan religion. He commits adultery with Hester and has a child, but instead of facing his sin he keeps inside for no one to know.
“And the infectious poison of that sin had been thus rapidly diffused throughout his moral system” (Hawthorne 174). In The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale serves as the holiest person many people meet in their moral lifetime, and as the purest embodiment of God’s word. However, Dimmesdale has a wounding secret, a cancer, that tears his soul apart throughout his time in America. Dimmesdale falls prey to sin in a moment of passion with Hester, resulting in her condemnation by the townspeople, and the birth of their child, Pearl. For years, Dimmesdale’s life is defined by an internal conflict - his job demands his purity in the eye of the townspeople, but he desires the acceptance of herself that Hester achieves through her sin being made public. His