Arthur Dimmesdale's Marking Quotes

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Everyone comes across something in their life that speaks to them--a symbol as it will be called. In the book, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there are many symbols, but there is one that really stands out above the rest, and that is the mark on Dimmesdale’s chest. The Scarlet Letter’s primary focus is on the life of Hester Prynne, who had an affair with someone and was accused of the crime and forced to wear a scarlet letter A for the rest of her life. The mark on Arthur Dimmesdale’s chest (although it was never truly stated what the mark actually was) can be seen as guilt in physical form which slowly begins to show over time. Throughout the beginning of The Scarlet Letter the marking on Arthur Dimmesdale’s chest is not directly mentioned, and it would appear that Dimmesdale has no correlation with the main character Hester Prynne at all. The only indication that the reader is given is Hester’s child Pearl reaching up at Dimmesdale (Hawthorne 40), but this is well before the marking is ever mentioned. Dimmesdale just seems to be a regular priest, or clergyman as they were called, who is trying to figure out with whom Hester had committed adultery. This can be seen as how guilt will conceal itself and hide away before it begins gnawing at a person’s insides. The guilt will slowly …show more content…

It is revealed that there is something on Dimmesdale’s chest after the physician, Roger Chillingworth, moves aside Dimmesdale’s shirt revealing his chest; (Hawthorne 78) the reader is then led to believe that there is something important about this interaction. The mark, again, is not directly stated so the reader does not know what the mark is. The mark is finally beginning to show itself, so the guilt is starting to work its way outward. At this point there is no way that Dimmesdale will be able to hide his shame forever. Over time the guilt will continue to build up and eventually will consume

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