Arthur Dimmesdale's Internal Conflict In The Scarlet Letter

Good Essays
Arthur Dimmesdale’s main internal conflict was the guilt derived from his sins. Arthur was a well known and admired minister of the Puritans. However, after committing the sin of adultery with Hester Prynne, he is guilt ridden and cannot confess his sins openly. Due to Dimmesdale’s weak nature, he is incapable of dealing with sin. As Dimmesdale’s guilt continously gets worse by the pressure of Roger, he inflicts self punishment on himself, “secret closet, under lock and key, there was a bloody scourge...he kept utter darkness” (120). Internally, Dimmesdale is gravely affected by his sin and seeks salvation. However, he knows that he has failed his own and God’s expectations of being a proper Puritan and punishes himself to cope with it. This connects…show more content…
This demonstrates Hawthorne’s theme that being the “city on the hill” expectation puts a lot of pressure on the nature of truth. Since Hawthorne is in a higher position than most puritans, majority of them look up to him as a sign of God’s grace; however, keeping this reputation has made Dimmesdale weak and unable to confess his sin properly. Lastly, Arthur often tries avoid confession and the judgment of others by waiting until he’s forced. As Dimmesdale, Hester, and Pearl were standing together on the scaffold, Pearl asks him if he will finally stand with them, he insists on “the great judgement day...the daylight of this world shall not see our meeting!” (127). Arthur struggles with himself to willingly confess his sin. He tries to escape it by waiting until he is actually dead to be judged by God. However, by even then he is still not confessing his sin voluntarily. On the day of judgement, God requires you to confess every sin. Moreover, the theme represented through the actions of Dimmesdale was that sin is inescapable. Once the person has sinned, it is apart of them forever and the person can not do anything to get rid of
Get Access