Dimmesdale's Confession

649 Words3 Pages
The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne takes place in a Puritan community of Boston during the 17th century, during which Arthur Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne commit the grave sin of adultery. Although the young woman, Hester Prynne, was accused and discovered guilty of this sin, she refused to give up the name of her partner in sin throughout her public punishment at the scaffold. Furthermore, when the young minister, Dimmesdale, was asked to question Hester, he did not push her to reveal his name due to fear for himself. However, the concealment of his identity drove Dimmesdale to more guilt, leading him to believe it would have been better if everyone had known. Thus, Dimmesdale began a series of self-penances, including a secret confession at the scaffold during the night. These self-penances failed to relieve Dimmesdale of his overwhelming guilt, consequently leading Dimmesdale to make a final public confession at the scaffold. Over the course of the three scaffold scenes, Dimmesdale changes from cowardly guilt and…show more content…
Hester and Dimmesdale had planned to escape their sins to Europe, however, after his last sermon, Dimmesdale realized that he yearned for a public confession. Therefore, though he was scarcely strong enough to walk on his own, he summoned Hester and Pearl to the scaffold and proceeded to mount it with them. Proceeding to confess in the presence of the entire town, Dimmesdale tore off his minister’s robe to reveal a concealed scarlet letter of his own. After bidding farewell to Hester and their child, Dimmesdale, relieved once and for all from his guilt, died a peaceful death on the scaffold. Thus, Dimmesdale had finally realized that the guilt of his adultery with Hester was inescapable by ordinary means, and only such a public confession could free his
Open Document