Hester Prynne And Arthur Dimmesdale In The Scarlet Letter

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Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale have both committed a dreadful sin with torturous consequences. They contrast one another by their different responses to the outcome. Hester courageously accepted sin and the punishments, causing her to be content in living her life. On the other hand, Dimmesdale denied his sin, which triggered an illness that eventually leads to his death. This denial of sin induces effects of guilt that can be lethal and detrimental to a person. In chapter 17, Hester went to the forest to see if she could have a talk with Dimmesdale. When she spotted him, she asked Dimmesdale if he had found any peace. Dimmesdale replied, "None--nothing but despair!" and “Hester, I am most miserable!" Dimmesdale has felt nothing but guilt …show more content…

First, she tells him that he has aided the others in spirituality. Hester specifically said, “The people reverence thee, and surely thou workest good among them! Doth this bring thee no comfort?" (Hawthorne 172) She is trying to say that the people look up to him and that this should ease his mind. Dimmesdale then replied that it only brought him more misery. He also said, "As concerns the good which I may appear to do, I have no faith in it. It must needs be a delusion. What can a ruined soul like mine effect towards the redemption of other souls?--or a polluted soul towards their purification?” (Hawthorne 172) This only made his guilt worsen. Dimmesdale does not feel passionate when he is trying to do job. The people are only imagining getting help because his tainted soul could not possibly redeem other souls. He feels as if he is cheating those people in their faith. Hester then tries to rebuttal by saying “Your present life is not less holy, in very truth, than it seems in people's eyes. Is there no reality in the penitence thus sealed and witnessed by good works?” She now tells him that his deeds and actions are real, so they must be helping these people. In her words, his sin is being overshadowed by his works. All of these comforting do nothing and Dimmesdale guilt

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