Dimmesdale's 'Judgment In The Scarlet Letter'

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Through a multitude of quotations, Hawthorne strategically implies how the Puritans justify their harsh judgments. Though the judgments were relatively harsh, some quotations suggest that the judgments of the Puritans could be a low level considering the judgment sinners will receive when judgment day comes. For instance Dimmensdale says, “Then, and there, before the judgment-sear, thy mother, and thou, and I, must stand together” (Hawthorne, 535). He then continues with “But the daylight of this world shall not see our meeting” (Hawthorne, 535). It seems as if Hawthorne suggests that the judgment that occur here on earth are mild in comparison to the intensity of the judgment of those in Heaven. Essentially, it seems that Hawthorne is drawing…show more content…
In chapter 12 it’s noted that because Dimmesdale has not come forward about his sins, he is faced with the harsh judgment of himself and feelings of inferiority, by allowing Hester to endure the punishment alone, although both committed the sin (Hawthorne, 531). Hawthorne writes, “A mockery, indeed, but in which his soul trifled with itself” he then continues to say, “He has been driven hither by the impulse of that Remorse which dogged him everywhere” (Hawthorne, 531). Later in the novel it’s confirmed that the remorse Dimmesdale feels has too taken an emotional toll on him (Hawthorne, 538). In chapter 8, Hawthorne expressed the emotional toll of judgment and justification on Hester. Hawthorne states, “The world was hostile” (Hawthorne, 541). “The child’s own nature had been born amiss, —the effluence of her mother’s lawless passion, —and often impelled Hester to ask, in bitterness of heart, whether it were for ill or good that the poor little creature had been born at all” (Hawthorne, 541). This shows how much she has internalized the judgment of her peers. In many other chapters, Hester perceives Pearl as a positive outcome of her sin, but in this particular quotation, Hester is questioning if it was even worth it at all. These dark thoughts and feelings continue in this chapter when Hester contemplates
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