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’s guilt, which stems from his dread of not living …show more content…
Dimmesdale suffers differently from Hester, because while she “bore it all” to the townspeople (181), his fears forced him to hide his sin, living a life full of “nothing but despair” (177). Hester, though made a social pariah of the town, has a more honest and healthy way of dealing with her sin. Because Hester is forced to face her wrongdoings under the watchful eye of her Puritan neighbors, she did not have the same guilt of secrecy that Dimmesdale did. Dimmesdale, by hiding his sin, allows himself to become a captive to his guilt. The way that Dimmesdale dealt with his guilt was unhealthy for him, both mentally and physically. Mentally, his guilt strains his mind, which causes his physical deterioration, and the weakening of his body. As Dimmesdale finally admits his sin to the townspeople, his guilt is lifted, and he is able to release himself from his captivity. Though he deteriorated both mind and body from his guilt, by telling the townspeople of his sin, it was as if “a spell was broken” (238). He no longer needed to force himself to hide his sin, which was what was hurting him. By finally dealing with his sin in a similar way to Hester, Dimmesdale was able to free himself of his self-imposed captivity and
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Dimmesdale and Hester suffers because of the sin they did. Dimmesdale feels guilt even though he never confesses that he is the farther. He would go to the scaffold at night and stand there screaming trying to get the people to come outside to see him but it was just all in his head when she would stand on the scaffold during the day with the red A on her chest she felt guilt even though she would not tell anyone who the farther is and for having an affair while her husband was missing for years. For example, Dimmesdale does not want to confess about his sin because he does not want to face the consequences. This is illustrated when Dimmesdale says, “then and there before the judgment-seat, thy mother and thou, and I must stand together” (Dimmesdale 139).
“Why, then, had he come hither? Was it but the mockery of penitence? A mockery, indeed, but in which his soul trifled with itself. He had been driven higher by the impulse of that Remorse which dogged him everywhere” (Hawthorne 138) here dimmesdale can 't face the justice of what he has done wrong which is why the author called him a coward and is the reason why he kept his secrets because he is a coward to admit it to and face the consequences which is why later the guilt of keeping them eats him from the inside.
One action, a split second decision can undo all good deeds in a person 's life. This often occurs in novels such as The Crucible by Arthur Miller or The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne where characters make a life altering decision that causes them pain in the end. These character traits are used so often it becomes something of a stereotype, similar to the characters’ personalities in these iconic novels. The authors use cliches to express the idea that kind hearted people can become sinners despite their goodness.
... He longed to speak out, from his own pulpit, at the full height of his voice, and tell the people what he was. His deception over the people increases his stress level which add onto his decline of health. Dimmesdale’s suffering and guilt drives him to physically abuse himself.
In the short story “The Minister’s Black Veil” and the novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the stories of two men who keep their sins secret and are hurt deeply. In The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Dimmesdale does not reveal his sin to the community and experiences far more pain than Hester, whose sin is revealed. Years after the original sin, Hester has healed and is accepted by the community, while Dimmesdale still feels guilty, as can be seen when he mounts the scaffold. Dimmesdale’s experience is similar to that of Reverend Hooper, who covers his face after a secret sin and is eschewed by the community. When we refuse to admit our faults, we will feel guilty
Dimmesdale starts living with Chillingworth so the doctor can keep the feeble minister ‘healthy’; the doctor, reversely, tries to make Dimmesdale feel conflicted about his morals which leads to Dimmesdale obsessively whipping himself “...on his own shoulders” and“... fast[ing]...in order to purify [his] body… rigorously...until his knees trembled beneath him[self]...” (132). He is enveloped in his sin, and cannot escape it unless he tells the truth. In fact, Dimmesdale could not stop thinking about his sin which “...continued to give Mr. Dimmesdale a real existence [which] was the anguish in his inmost soul” (133).
Dimmesdale’s True Colors 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. Cowardice, a lacking of bravery when facing danger, was a trait that Dimmesdale carried.
Consequently, Arthur Dimmesdale is the cause of Hester Prynne's shame for he is the man whom Hester loves. No one knows he is the father of Pearl, Hester won't say and he isn't strong enough to speak up. He struggles with this knowledge that Hester is being punished and not him. The only truth that continued to give Mr. Dimmesdale a real existence on this earth was the anguish in his inmost soul, and the undissembled expression of it in his aspect, (Hawthorne 142). Being a minister of God the citizens look up to him, and he feels guilty about his hidden sin.
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!
Because of the effects that Dimmesdale’s sin had on those living in his society, his sin is the greatest of all those presented in the novel, as illustrated by Hawthorne through Dimmesdale’s interactions with others. Because, unlike Hester, Dimmesdale hides his sin from the
He knows that if he reveals what he has done, then his followers will lose their respect for him. He is burdened with his sin; therefore, he inflicts pain upon himself for his wrongdoing. Dimmesdale goes as far as having vigils all night, being tortured by “diabolic shapes,” and emaciating and whipping himself. Dimmesdale punishes himself because he wants to repent for the sin that he has committed.
In Dimmesdale not confessing and facing a punishment in the eyes of the church as well as the townspeople, causing him to take to his own means, while Hester is able to face a punishment. Dimmesdale does what he believes is right for his punishment by doing acts that damaged his mind and body. Dimmesdale, in creating his own punishment, holds vigils that last all night, fasted to the point that he barely ate anything at all, beat himself, and lost the will to live. Dimmesdale's sin stays with him throughout the book, and the readers see his mind and body deteriorate through his mysterious sickness, while the readers see Hester become a closed off outcast trying to repent. The townspeople in the book see DImmesdale's sickness, and how devoted he is to his faith and begin to believe that he is holy, and an angel sent to sent to save them, while Hester has repented and become able, as well as an
Dimmesdale sinned with Hester Prynne by committing adultery. Although this was terrible and looked down upon, his crime was self inflicting and done out of passion. After Hester was punished for the crime, Dimmesdale was overwhelmed with guilt and sadness. This showed that Dimmesdale was a good person
After the sin was committed, the development of guilt made Hester and Dimmesdale very miserable because they could not stop thinking about what they have done. Both of the characters kept going back to that moment, feeling remorse
He puts Hester in a no-win situation by questioning her like this. If she exposes him, he loses everything and becomes a social outcast but is released from his moral burden. Staying silent, however, keeps Dimmesdale in his position of power but also prolongs his suffering and misery. His selfish attitude towards his atonement is at odds with his otherwise cool and collected countenance, showcasing a very scared and vulnerable individual.