Hester Prynne And Dimmesdale In Scarlet Letter

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In the book The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays the transgressions of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale and the consequences of adultery and revenge. Roger Chillingworth, a physician and the secret spouse of Hester, torments Dimmesdale to his death. There is a substantial amount of evidence that Chillingworth’s sin is greater than the minister’s; but in reality, Dimmesdale has committed the greater sin. The common perspective is that Chillingworth commits a tremendous sin by torturing Arthur Dimmesdale to the verge of death. The reverend claims that he has infringed, “the sanctity of a human heart,” (17.21). Only some sins are capable of doing this and by doing so, the physician has pushed the minister to the breaking point and played a major role in his death. Even after Dimmesdale died, Chillingworth still wants to torture him even though,"thou hast escaped [him],”(23.28). Who would want to do more harm after death? Roger Chillingworth would and has done this. It appears that Chillingworth’s sin is worse than Dimmesdale and Hester's combined, but is it really? However, a closer analysis reveals that Dimmesdale bears the greater sin. First off, Hester and Dimmesdale had a secret relationship of…show more content…
They had to live, “in the outskirts of town,”(4.7) without the financial or emotional support of Dimmesdale. If Dimmesdale would have taken Hester and Pearl in from the start, his punishment would have been less harsh. Dimmesdale’s cowardice limits his contact in public between himself and Hester, fearing that any interaction may lead the townsfolk to believe that there is something in between the two. Dimmesdale doesn’t even talk to Hester and Pearl after three years until they meet, due to business, in the Governor's mansion. His sin would have been less severe if he would have at the least taken Hester and Pearl in and showed compassion without revealing his
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