Arthur Dimmesdale Within The Puritan Society

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Cause & Effect
“There are Devilish thoughts even in the most angelic minds.”- Rachel Wolchin. This perfectly describes Dimmesdale within the Puritan society. The Puritan society was perceived as a "perfect" and "holy" place, but not all compiled to that standard. Dimmesdale and his mistress, Hester, are culprits of not conforming to the societal norms. Hester committed adultery with a man named Arthur Dimmesdale, a puritan minister. Hester's adultery was considered sin of that time and therefore she was punished. Hester's punishment contained wearing an "A" that represented her sin, also public shaming. Dimmesdale on the other hand due to the time period of inequality had no public punishment. Arthur punished himself behind closed doors …show more content…

Due to committing a sin Dimmesdale suffers mentally and emotionally, but not publicly. Since Arthur was not given public shaming like Hester and Pearl he takes his punishment upon himself. Dimmesdale has drove himself mentally sick, but once Chillingworth decided to help him with his health issues in order to get closer to revealing the sin from him, Dimmesdale acts like he is having chest pains. Dimmesdale claims “ Not to thee! But, if it be the soul’s disease, then do I commit myself to the one Physician of the soul!” (Pg 133). He believes his sickness is of the soul. Dimmesdale keeping the secret inside him, his sin is eating up his soul begging to be freed. Little does Chillingworth know is that Arthur actually has a “A” carved into his chest. Therefore, Chillingworth does not know what is actually causing Arthur pain. With Arthur believing that his sickness was of his soul, but not his mind telling him to do these crazy things to himself makes him mentally sick. Another mental suffering of Arthur due to his guilt is he starves himself as part of his penance. Dimmesdale does many things he considers to be his penance that he owes to God for the sin he committed. …show more content…

Throughout the book the description of Arthur was not always pleasant sounding. With previous knowledge of the puritan society, Dimmesdale’s before self may have been a happy, healthy man and very religious like, given he was a minister. Dimmesdale was described as “He was a person of very striking aspect, with a white, lofty, and impending brow,large, brown, melancholy eyes” (pg 64). Even at the beginning of the book Arthur was seen as a very melancholy man. He is described as impending meaning very harsh looking, but at the same time very sad and quiet. Arthur is portrayed as still having his dignity, but his overall physical appearance is melancholy. In addition to his physical appearance Dimmesdale physically abuses himself. Arthur whips himself with a scourge behind closed doors as a way of punishment. Hawthorne describes ‘His inward trouble drove him to practices...In Mr. Dimmesdale’s secret closet, under lock and key, there was a bloody scourge.” (pg 141). This quote reveals his guilt has drove him to practice such a horrible thing of whipping himself. Still Arthur does not go public with his penance as the quote reflects that it was behind “lock and key”. The text also reveals that he used a “bloody scourge” or a whip drenched in his own blood. Since Dimmesdale decided to take his matters into his own hands, he must have felt hellish for the reason he actually physically abused

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