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
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.
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.
However, he will not repent for his sin until he confesses. Penitence is regret for one’s wrongdoing. Dimmesdale does not feel penitence for his sins: Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom! Mine burns in secret! Thou little knowest what a relief it is, after the torment of a seven years' cheat, to look into an eye that recognizes me for what I am!
“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.
The Scarlet Letter Essay Roger Chillingworth and Arthur Dimmesdale were two of the main sinners in The Scarlet Letter. Both characters kept their sins secrete throughout the story. These sins included adultery, revenge, and even murder. Out of the two sinners, Chillingworth was the worst, because he never felt guilt for the terrible things he was doing. Dimmesdale spent his entire life in guilt and remorse for the sins he had committed (“Who”).
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.
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
This again shows that he is not afraid to be with Hester through this ordeal. Dimmesdale is also shown in the book to be a generally a nice person. An example of this is is throughout the book, he tries to get more involved in Pearl’s Life as he sees that they are precious moments with his daughter. Another example is when Dimmesdale says to everyone publically he has committed the sin of adultery. Instead of reporting him to the authorities and having him punished, they congratulate him for being holy as he’s always been.
Come…” he repeats to them throughout the scene. Hawthorne makes Dimmesdale wish so clear in order to show that he is exposing his sin for their benefit. Along with needing Hester and Pearl by his side, Dimmesdale also illuminates that “with God’s help” he will be free. Hawthorne engrains that Dimmesdale could not stand up and speak out if he didn’t believe that God was in his corner. Hawthorne’s use of parallelism clarifies to the audience what they already know, Dimmesdale is a weak man who needs reassurance from another person or entity that
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).
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
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. So guilty, he physically harms himself and makes himself sick. Numerous times he tries to tell the truth but can't. Arthur whips himself as punishment. In Mr. Dimmesdale’s secret closet, under lock and key, there was a bloody scourge, (Hawthorne 141).
Dimmesdale is full of guilt, because he is a leader of the community and was true to his religion, yet he still committed the substantial sin. Not only did he commit the sin, but he continues to keep it hidden from his community. Dimmesdale is supposed to be true to the work that he does, and guilt is what he should feel for hiding who he truly is. “Whom would they discern there, with the red eastern light upon his brow? Whom,