She vows to never reveal the name of Pearl’s father, however it is later revealed that he is the ever-so-respected town Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester is more than aware of her exclusion from the groups of the colony, even though she was working to rebuild her name by working and keeping busy, “In all her intercourse with society, however, there was nothing that made her feel as if she belonged to it. Every gesture, every word, and even the silence of those with whom she came in contact, implied, and often expressed, that she was banished, and as much alone as if she had inhabited another sphere, or communicated with the common nature by other organs than the rest of human kind” (page 108). The judgmental community that Hester is a part of, ceases to affect her actions. She refuses to leave, and raises her daughter the best that she can- with love, respect, without revealing to Pearl what makes her different.
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. While discussing Dimmesdale’s faite, Hester feels that “the sacrifice of the clergyman’s good name, and death itself, ...would have been infinitely preferable to the alternative which she had taken upon” (Hawthorne, 149) meaning that she does not want him to suffer the same public shame that she did if he were to reveal their affair.
Hester went to plead that the officials of the town leave Pearl in her care and not take her away to be raised by any one else. When it seems that Hester is losing this battle she asks Dimmesdale to speak in her defense which he does quite passionately. This desire to protect the mother and daughter bond of Hester and Pearl is what seems to draw Pearl to approach Dimmesdale and take “his hand in the grasp of both her own…” and lay “her cheek against it; a caress so tender…” (The Scarlet Letter, Chapter VIII) Dimmesdale’s defense and Pearl’s reaction are two cues that lead the reader to begin seeing the truth of who Pearl’s father
Due to the fact that Dimmesdale and Hester could not even ignore their initial attraction, the passion that carries throughout their relationship is undeniable. The love they posses for one another only grows stronger as their community and religion constantly reiterates how the should not be together. Not only having admiration for one other, once their child come into the world, they both carry intense amounts of devotion towards keeping it safe. Though Dimmesdale is scared to admit, it is adamant to readers that he cares for her even more so than himself. As Pearl faces the same shame as her parents, such as being called “an imp of evil, emblem and product of sin" (Hawthorne, 129), her need for care and attention grows larger.
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
The Virtue of Hester Prynne In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s highly acclaimed novel, The Scarlet Letter, a Puritan town’s reaction is described after Hester Prynne raises a scandal that goes against the town’s religious views. The Puritans believe the Bible should be translated into their life and that God should be the center of it. Many of them think of Hester as a sinful woman without virtue. They treat her as an outcast and consider that she is somehow affiliated with the Devil.
Pearl’s estranged behavior is believed to be a result of the way she was conceived through sin, which is just another example of how Pearl is the physical representation and constant reminder of Hester’s sin. Towards the end of the book, Pearl is finally allowed to be a real human being once Dimmesdale confesses his sin. In Chapter 23, Hawthorne writes, “The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father’s cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy…” (Hawthorne 142).
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy,” (KJV 28:13). The message of this short proverb is simple: confess. Despite this, there are millions refusing to reveal their hidden atrocities to the oblivious public. But you don’t need public ridicule for a sin to destroy you, in fact, it would be better if you did confess. This is the ideology of Nathaniel Hawthorne author of The Scarlet Letter. In this book, Hawthorne details an elaborate story showing the consequences of confessing sins in contrast to concealing it. A sin weighing down on you and destroying you from the inside out is a moral consequence and, the only remedy is confessing the sin. This notion can be seen in the difference between Hester and Dimmesdale with how they handled the scarlet letter and the effects of that.
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.
Dimmesdale is described as a persuasive speaker and exhibits his power to do so, as he sways the magistrates and Governor Billingham to change their mind. Dimmesdale is able to do so by in cooperating puritan ideals and prove how Hester’s parenting is sufficient. Dimmesdale uses religion to his advantage, first by stating that God bestowed Pearl to Hester, then explains why Hester chose to tell Pearl- her birth was a religious “Burden”. (Hester told pearl that she has no knowledge of an earthly father and instead a heavenly one – As Pearl is a Living “A” or a scarlet letter). Dimmesdale continues to use this as a reason for the community an example of sins and its affects.
Hester still loved Dimmesdale and felt deeply for him. She even looked to him for support when she dealt with the high ranking officials in the colony, like wife would look to a husband. When the government offices were debating whether or not Hester should keep pearl, she looked to Dimmesdale for support and asked him to speak for her. From reading the novel the reader can conclude that Dimmesdale felt some degree of love for Hester just not as deeply as true love. Dimmesdale did not not openly admit his sin with Hester, and when someone loved a person they do not want to see that person in pain and usually share in their
When Hester would remove her letter nothing bad would happen, instead she was showered with sunshine. The quote “ Such as sympathy from nature” shows that god has forgiven Hester and is going to surround her with positivity. Dimmesdale was never in situations like Hester. Hester was publically humiliated for her sin while Dimmesdale was was still loved by the citizens. Pearl was also living a great life along with Hester.
Some of the differences between these two characters are also what makes them alike, as well as setting them apart from the rest of the characters in the book. Hester and Dimmesdale’s need to repent and face their punishments in their own ways leads the reader through the book with surprises at every turn. The characters face challenges from holding in a secret, and facing a punishment all relating to the same actions taken before the book begins. Hester, the mother of Pearl ,as well as the main character, was
Hawthorne’s use of the Formal Register in the sixth chapter, “Pearl” helps with amplifying the intensity of Hester and Pearl’s relationship in “The Scarlet Letter”. Hawthorne’s use of diction in the lines “ Mother and daughter stood together in the same circle of seclusion from human society...”, shows that Hester and Pearl are not just excluded from society but, are in a totally different sphere for the same reason; Hester’s sin. Hawthorne makes it crystal clear that there is no Pearl separate from the scarlet letter, she is the scarlet letter in human form. Despite Dimmesdale committing the same sin as Hester, he is not in the same sphere of seclusion because there is an obvious divide, him being the town’s beloved reverend and Hester being
Later in the novel it’s confirmed that the remorse Dimmesdale feels has taken an emotional toll on him (Hawthorne, 538). Hawthorne expressed the emotional toll of judgment and justification on Hester when she states refers to the world as “hostile” (Hawthorne, 541). It is important to note that she calls her heart “bitter,” therefore, implying that the judgment she has endure has changed her, and contemplates if her child should experience this pain. Hawthorne demonstrates Hester’s internalization of the judgment and negative perception from her peers. In many other chapters, Hester perceives Pearl as a positive outcome of her sin, but in this particular quotation, Hester is questioning is living is worth it.