Dimmesdale’s Punishment in The Scarlet Letter Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, a brilliant spokesperson and a devout and wise Puritan minister in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, is the lover of a woman who commits adultery, Hester Prynne. Hester, a recognizable adulteress, wears the scarlet letter and lives as an outcast. Contradicting, Reverend Dimmesdale’s sin stays hidden from the Puritan community, known only to Hester and himself. As a minister, Dimmesdale believes he should suffer from punishments the way Hester did for committing the same crime, which leads him to fall into a terrible mental and physical state. Reverend Dimmesdale suffers a greater punishment than Hester by experiencing recurring guilt, physical harm, and Chillingworth’s torment.
We are all sinners, no matter how hard we try to hide our faults, they always seem to come back, one way or another. Written in the 19th century, Nathaniel Hawthorne shows us Hester Prynne and how one sin can change her life completely. Hester Prynne changes a great deal throughout The Scarlet Letter. Through the view of the Puritans, Hester is an intense sinner; she has gone against the Puritan way of life committing the highest act of sin, adultery. For committing such a sinful act, Hester must wear the scarlet letter while also having to bear stares from those that gossip about her.
In this essay I will explore these examples to determine whether this thesis is true. From the moment she conceived Pearl, Hester confessed that she had commited adultery. At frst, the townspeople looked down on Hester as just a living reminder of sin. Nevertheless, once Hester began doing charity work, “Hester bestowed all her superfluous means in charity, on wretches less miserable than herself, and who not unfrequently insulted the hand that fed them”(87.) The people began to notice her more as the person she is, rather than what the scarlet “A” defined her as “The letter was the symbol of her calling.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Pearl Prynne is the most symbolic character. Throughout the novel, she is portrayed as the main symbol of adultery. Pearl’s name comes from Hester’s constant reminder of her sin and “as being of great price,-purchased with all she had,-her mother’s only treasure!” (Hawthorne). Hester was seen as an outcast by her community. The letter “A” she wore symbolized adultery and having Pearl makes her sin more obvious.
The place of isolation can become the place of revelation. The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the story of Hester Prynne's life after having a child, Pearl, while her husband, Roger Chillingworth, was away and having to live with an A on her chest for adultery. The father of the child, Arthur Dimmesdale, had to live with the guilt and beat himself because of it and the truth remained a secret to almost everyone, except Chillingworth, who planned to get revenge on him because of his sin. Chillingworth became evil and changed because he wanted revenge on Dimmesdale and the guilt made Dimmesdale feel sick. Dimmesdale died after he told everyone the truth and Pearl gained a sense of compassion when she saw him dying.
All of these characters have either been a victim of hypocrisy or have been exposed by hypocrisy by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hester Prynne is seen as the unlawfully convicted by being burdened with the scarlet A, but does the punishment fit the crime? Hester Prynne did indeed commit adultery, but the burden of the letter A on her chest caused more harm than good. For example, the townspeople would gossip, insult, and even preach, about her while she was at church, just passing by, even while her child was present. The Puritans are so hypocritical that they claim how holy they are, but are so hateful.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne illustrates the importance of identity in Puritan society. Hawthorne’s use of symbols, metaphors, and other kinds of figurative language allow the reader to feel sympathetic towards the main characters, especially Hester Prynne. Hester Prynne is introduced as a sinner, the most disgusting thing a person could be in Puritan world, and as a result, Hester is forced to wear the scarlet ‘A’. The ‘A’ was originated to stand for adultery, but as time went on Hester realized that the ‘A’ stood for something positive instead of something negative. Hester changed the definition of the letter from adultery to able and angel because that is how she saw herself as.
Even if one make a regret able mistake, should that person be shamed for a past human error? Scarlett Letter takes place in Salem Massachusetts around the time frame where if something seemed strange to others you were accused of being a witch by all the Puritans and Quakers. If a person was accused of such accusations they were usually hung or stoned. Miss Hester Prynne’s is an independent mother who is doing all she can to make sure she keeps her child since it her against the world. In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's book, “The Scarlett Letter” the story ranges from compassion to forgiveness with Little Pearl as the symbol of savior in Miss Hester Prynne’s life.
Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Scarlet Letter tells the story of the life of Hester Prynne an adulteress forced to wear a Scarlet “A” on her bosom by the sinister Puritan society to mark her shame. As her husband seeks revenge for the unidentified lover, Arthur Dimmesdale stays wracked with guilt. The Scarlet Letters symbolism and use of allusions, metaphors, setting, irony, diction, and varied tone helps to unwrap the characters throughout the novel. Hawthornes motives for writing the The Scarlet Letter was to show how women can be equally as strong and independent as men as men can also be morally weak. Hawthorne uses his abilities to weave tone, mood, and style all into one story questioning his purpose of this tragic tale of shame and redemption.
The scarlet letter symbolizes adultery, and acceptance. Hester shares the physiological stress of the sinful act of adultery in her chest. The fact that she did not reveal the partner, says she wants to save someone else's dignity and reputation than herself. The Scarlet Letter is embraced by Hester, but signifies the shame and malignant reputation that is to come. After being in prison for