The relationship between Pearl and Reverend Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter is one that both intrigues the reader and keeps them wanting to find out more. At the beginning of the story nothing is very clear about Pearl’s father but as you read on there are many cues that lead you to Reverend Dimmesdale, the pastor of the church where Pearl’s mother, Hester Prynne, was a member. Through all the twists and turns there are a few things that stick out in the readers mind such as the progression of their relationship, the behavior and psychology of Pearl and how the novel could be seen as a story almost all about Pearl. The progression starts during the third chapter of the novel when Hester and her young child are on the scaffold to be publicly shamed for her adultery. When Dimmesdale is called upon to speak and try to urge Hester to reveal her fellow sinner Pearl is drawn to him and reaches out towards his voice. The reader is led to believe here that this stretch towards the Reverend is just due to his automatic appeal to anyone while he is speaking. …show more content…
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
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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.
Pearl is the symbol of the Scarlet "A" that Hester had to wear because she was the direct result of Hester's Adultery. Through the book, Pearl is used to remind Hester of her past transgressions, of her old life, and of her sin, which causes her shame. Hester rips off the Scarlet "A" in chapter 18 because of her shame, and in chapter 19, Hester calls to Pearl saying, "Come dearest child...,"(Pg. 190) but Pearl does not respond because she does not recognize her mother without the "A" on her chest. This symbolizes how she has known her mother my the "A" showing that even Hester's own daughter has only known her by the Adultery she has committed. In chapter 23, Dimmesdale reveals himself as Pearls father and thereby Hester's "husband," but dies shortly after revealing that information.
In Chapter 9 Hester and Pearl were going out to the forest to meet up with Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale has not found peace, only but pain and sadness. Even though Hester was suppose to keep secrets she told Dimmesdale right in his face that the doctor Chillingworth was Hester’s husband, then she went on and told Dimmesdale all about the doctor that she was suppose to keep a secret. Hester took off the scarlet letter and called out for Pearl to say that the minister was her father. She reacted very different because she wanted to be a public thing not a secret.
Dimmesdale is considered “a learned and pious minister of the word” (Hawthorne 165) by the puritan community throughout the vast majority of this book. He, nevertheless, committed adultery with Hester and is therefore, as sinful as Hester in this situation. Through his human tendencies, Dimmesdale caused Hester to have Pearl, a daughter that was considered “freakish” and “elvish” (Hawthorne 66) by the Puritan people. Hawthorne agrees when he writes, “It was as if an evil spirit possessed the child and had just then peeped forth in mockery.”
Scarlet Letter Chapter 23 Analysis Essay In chapter 23 the town’s people have just seen the death of Dimmesdale. As they now reminisce on his admission to being Pearls father. Trying now to process what they just seen.
Reverend Dimmesdale suffers psychologically in the novel. Starting off as the epitome of religious guidance, Dimmesdale was the character least expected to be guilty of sin. But a further look into the story, and it is seen that Dimmesdale was guilty of arguably the greatest sin of the time, adultery. The Reverend wishes to admit this sin, but Hester Prynne does not allow him to, and Dimmesdale starts to break down, his sin haunting him, in every sleeping and waking moment. For example, Hester states, while meeting Dimmesdale in the woods, "There was a listlessness in his gait; as if he saw no reason for taking one step further, nor felt any desire to do so, but would have been glad, could he be glad of anything, to fling himself down at the root of the nearest tree, and lie there passive, for
After he sinned with Hester he did his best to conceal his sin. In the beginning of the book he had the opportunity to confess his part in the making of the baby, but he stood instead “Leaning over the balcony”(76). Because of his concealed sin he lived a lie. He would get up on his pulpit and would utter “I...am utterly a pollution and a lie”(164). While Mr. Dimmesdale’s one mistake was a shameful one he could have reconciled himself by confessing his sin to the
He sees “diabolic shapes that grinned and mocked at the pale minister, and beckoned him away with them” (136), and “Hester Prynne, leading along little Pearl in her scarlet garb, and pointing her forefinger, first at the scarlet letter on her bosom, and then at the clergyman’s own breast.” (137). His hallucinations mirror what the guilt has done to his troubled being—it has haunted him in frightening ways, and rendered him tortured by his own self, physically and mentally. He had transformed from a lively, eloquent, young minister into a ghastly, weak slave of his mind; "The only truth that continued to give Mr. Dimmesdale
One of the most multifaceted, elaborate, and symbolic characters in The Scarlet Letter is Pearl, the daughter of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale. Although she is fairly young during the majority of this novel, she possesses the unique ability to provoke the adult characters in the book. She asks them pointed questions and draws their attention to the repudiated or disregarded truths of the adult world. This typically would be unusual behavior for a child her age, but she continually acts abnormal throughout the majority of The Scarlet Letter. Her symbolism catches the attention of the reader and characters as well.
But he has no potential to do it. This represents Dimmesdale’s fault and responsibility for getting Hester pregnant. Pearl pointing at the Scarlet Letter and then at the minister shows that he’s equally involved in this as Hester, even though he didn’t expose himself to the public. Dimmesdale even mentioned that Peal was sent by God as a reminder of her committed crime.
Does lying to a community make a person feel better as a sinner? Does acting to a community help hide one’s true self? Arthur Dimmesdale, a hypocrite, depends on lying to survive. He loves but cannot show it in public; he is depressed but tries to hide his pain within his sermons. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s
When Dimmesdale invites Hester and pearl onto the scaffold he says, “‘Come up hither, Hester, thou and Little Pearl,” sand the reverend Mr. Dimmesdale. “Ye have both been here before, but I was not with you. Come up hither once again, and we will stand all three other.”’ (Hawthorne 101). Dimmesdale felt guilty for not confessing his sin when Hester was going through her humiliation.
Dimmesdale’s True Colors Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, also the father of Hester’s child, showed prominent parts of his character throughout the story. The first trait the reader becomes aware of is Dimmesdale’s cowardice. He has no intentions of revealing his sin to the public, due to how highly he is seen in the community’s eyes. Remorse, or guilt, is another term that can be associated with Dimmesdale, growing increasingly more prominent as the novel goes on. Cowardice, a lacking of bravery when facing danger, was a trait that Dimmesdale carried.
Arthur Dimmesdale is a very important character in The Scarlet Letter. He is the highly respected reverend of what is now present-day Boston; they called their little town the Massachusetts bay colony. Throughout The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale embodies a secret that the audience quickly finds out in the beginning of the novel. He has committed adultery with Hester Prynne. Dimmesdale is guilt-ridden because of the sin he committed with Hester.
By Dimmesdale's hand always on his chest, everyone makes the connection that he is the father of Pearl because of the Scarlet Letter on Hester’s