Hester and Dimmesdale have a very unique love for eachother. Their love is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet in the way that they are not able to pursue it. They are people who have been hardened and hurt by their past mistakes. They share that connection with each other unlike anyone else. Hester and Pearl go to meet up with Dimmesdale in the forest in complete effort to keep their relationship a complete secret.
Mahatma Gandhi, a civil rights activist, once stated, “I do not seek redemption for the consequences of my sin. I seek to be redeemed from sin itself. Until I have attained that end, I shall be content to be relentless.” Gandhi, similarly to Hawthorne, believed that sin had to be penanced and redeemed in order to learn from a misdeed, and hopefully, not to be repeated. Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, clearly integrated his opinion on sin through his writing.
After Dimmesdale and Hester have their discussion in the forest about freeing themselves from the harsh Puritan society, Dimmesdale ends up having a characteristic transformation. Dimmesdale feels that he has just released his sin that he has been keeping secret all this time, which causes him “at every step to do some strange, wild, wicked thing or another, with a sense that it would be at once involuntary and intentional, in spite of himself, yet growing out of a profounder self than that which opposed the impulse.” This passage is closely foreshadowing how in the new future, Dimmesdale is going to break free from his common characteristic of the noble minister, that he has worn so far throughout the story. Hawthorne also chooses to mention
Shame in the Face of the Public Consequences of crimes are often unfit or unjust, but public humiliation serves as a fit consequence to any situation. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Lydia Woodyatt’s “The Power of Public Shaming, for Good and for Ill,” and Herbert Wray’s “The Two Faces of Shame,” the authors convey the effectiveness of public humiliation. Public shaming is effective by impacting a person’s character through guilt and embarrassment. Public shaming became a way of reshaping human character.
Throughout the history of literature, forests or woods were used to symbolise a lost in morals or spirituality. The devil or The Black man was used to symbolise corruption or evil. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses forests and The Black Man to embody the spiritual and moral struggles of Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth in his novel The Scarlet Letter. The first time Roger Chillingworth appears to the readers, is during the first scaffold scene. He was deformed and hunchbacked.
Fatal flaws have been shown in works of literature throughout the centuries, causing the destruction of many characters. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, three of the main characters each have a fatal flaw. The novel, set in Puritan Boston between 1642-1679, tells the story of Hester Prynne through third person narrative. Hester begins her journey in the novel when she is brought from jail for her punishment in having an affair with someone in the town, resulting in her pregnancy. Her husband, Roger Chillingworth, who she believed dead, sought out revenge against the unknown father of Hester’s child.
Nathanial Hawthorne sets the climax of The Scarlet Letter up in his telling of the scaffold scene. Throughout the scene Hawthorne utilizes parallelism, a subtle spiritual allusion and a heavy dose of irony in order to resolve the main conflict of the book, Dimmesdale’s refusal to tell the truth. Hawthorne presents the scene at a very quick pace; which appeases his audience compared to the slower pace set in earlier chapters. Hawthorne makes clear the thoughts of Dimmesdale by continuously repeating them. Dimmesdale is up on the scaffold and wants nothing more than for Hester and Pearl to join him, “come hither!
Adultery is a sin. The Puritan society of 17th century Colonial America believed that it was a sin grave enough to be punished by death. However, Hawthorne argues otherwise. He tries to convince his readers that adultery is more than a simple sin that has to be shown contempt. He argues that the adulterous relationship between Dimmesdale and Hester was a crime of passion and love, not lust and disloyalty.
Hawthorne uses chapter twenty-two, “The Procession”, to put all the pieces of the puzzle of the conflict together. This is where the reader remotely begins to understand how the ending of the novel will come to an end. To reveal the conclusion to the reader, Hawthorne uses rhetorical devices such as, irony, simile, and diction. To expose the irony in this chapter, Hawthorne writes of Dimmesdale’s sermon. As Dimmesdale speaks, “if the auditor listened intently, and for the purpose, he could detect the same cry of pain.”
Guilt vs. Judgment in The Scarlet Letter In The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne is judged by everyone in 17-century Boston, where everyone knows the crime that she has committed with her paramour Arthur Dimmesdale, who also is the town's Reverend. The townspeople are very harsh in their personal opinions of Hester. Some even go as far as to say that she should be branded by “the flesh of her forehead.” (Hawthorne 59)
When encountered with a woman charged with adultery, Jesus proclaimed, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). As no man is truly without sin, humans cannot justly punish them for sins without holy guidance. They can, however, worsen their own sin to the point of being irredeemable. in The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Arthur Dimmesdale’s sin was the most unholy and dangerous of all those presented in the novel.
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.