Dimmesdale's Punishment In Scarlet Letter

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Often when people make a mistake, they try to mask the truth to elude the corollary. The Puritans had a very demanding society. Which all sins were greeted with grim punishment. In The Scarlet letter Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale commit a sin amongst the Puritan society; adultery, but only half of the truth is revealed. The Puritan society only knows about Hester’s sin; all the while, Dimmesdale’s half of the "shared sin" remains concealed. However, by concealing his sin, Dimmesdale suffers much more than Hester does.

Hester has a two stage punishment. One stage of Hester’s punishment is to stand on the scaffold for three hours. The scaffold is where "iniquity is dragged out into the sunlight" (57) and the truth is revealed, so
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He says that even though the other sinner would lose prestige in the town if his name were revealed, it would be better for him to confess his sin than it would be for him to "hide a guilty heart through life" (70). A cause of Dimmesdale’s outrageous pain is the gruesome Roger Chillingworth. Chillingworth is Hester’s husband, and he finds out that Dimmesdale is her former lover. He gets his revenge by getting quartered close to Dimmesdale and being his doctor in order to torture Dimmesdale. Throughout the novel Chillingworth is compared to Satan because he; has a "writhing horror…like a snake" (63), a light glimmers in his eyes "like the reflection of a furnace" (133), and he even is said to be "Satan himself,," in disguise (132). His "treatment" for Dimmesdale’s illness only makes Dimmesdale weaker, which is his ultimate revenge. Since the truth about the sin is concealed, Chillingworth is successful in torturing Dimmesdale. Another symptom of Dimmesdale’s hurt is guilt. He knows the truth, and since society does not punish him, because they do not know the truth, he feels that he needs to punish himself by whipping himself with a "bloody scourge" and fasts "until his knees trembled beneath him" (150). This unknown, physical and self-induced punishment is harsh, but since he is too self-concealed to revel his sin, Dimmesdale accepts…show more content…
Right before he dies, he "tore away the ministerial band from before his breast. It was revealed!" (266) There, it is as if a scarlet letter carved into his flesh. This is an example as a permanent reminder of the sin, but only to himself. It also inferences how more agonizing his punishment is. To set him free from his self-induced torture he stands on the scaffold and admits the truth. At this point Chillingworth says that there "was no one place so secret…where though couldst have escaped me, except on this very scaffold!" (264) By finally admitting his sin, Dimmesdale is able to escape from the devil and a destiny in
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