According to Hawthorne, the consequence of sin is mental deterioration as represented by Reverend Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale is a priest that has committed a vile crime, although only a scanty amount of people know about it. Dimmesdale has not publically announced his sin, which in turn worsens his mental health due to guilt. Dimmesdale stood in front of the town when his past lover, Hester, was being publically humiliated and never uttered a word, only placed “his hand upon his heart” (59). The consequence of not admitting his immoral sin was ultimate guilt. Dimmesdale suffered through each day with the unbending remorse for what he had done. This sin deteriorated Dimmesdale’s mental health, leaving him with minute strength and power. Dimmesdale
Dimmesdale and Chillingworth both have secrets that make them look and act differently, their secrets affect their character and how they do their job. Dimmesdale is the father of Pearl but he doesn 't want to face the same humiliation as Hester did for his sins. Because of his secret he self punishes and fasts, he also preaches better than he did before although his health is failing. Chillingworth’s secret is that he was the husband of Hester while he was away, before she cheated on him. Chillingworth gets uglier and uglier driven by the need to get revenge on Pearl’s father. Both characters affect others and their own lives good and bad because of the secrets they keep.
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.
Dimmesdale suffers differently from Hester, because while she “bore it all” to the townspeople (181), his fears forced him to hide his sin, living a life full of “nothing but despair” (177). Hester, though made a social pariah of the town, has a more honest and healthy way of dealing with her sin. Because Hester is forced to face her wrongdoings under the watchful eye of her Puritan neighbors, she did not have the same guilt of secrecy that Dimmesdale did. Dimmesdale, by hiding his sin, allows himself to become a captive to his guilt. The way that Dimmesdale dealt with his guilt was unhealthy for him, both mentally and physically. Mentally, his guilt strains his mind, which causes his physical deterioration, and the weakening of his body. As Dimmesdale finally admits his sin to the townspeople, his guilt is lifted, and he is able to release himself from his captivity. Though he deteriorated both mind and body from his guilt, by telling the townspeople of his sin, it was as if “a spell was broken” (238). He no longer needed to force himself to hide his sin, which was what was hurting him. By finally dealing with his sin in a similar way to Hester, Dimmesdale was able to free himself of his self-imposed captivity and
Dimmesdale attempts to inform his congregation of his terrible sin: “He had told his hearers that he was altogether vile, a viler companion of the vilest, the worst of sinners, an abomination, a thing of unimaginable iniquity... They [his congregation] heard it all, and did but reverence him the more” (114). Dimmesdale truly reveals the fact of his unholiness, but fails to reference any details to his congregation. They paint him in an even holier light, and understand that only a true saint like Dimmesdale can call himself unholy in this way. However, Dimmesdale’s conscience is wrecked, because he is unable to reveal his sin, despite his multiple public attempts, and his anguish lingers. Similarly, Dimmesdale envies the closure that Hester’s punishment has brought her: “‘Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly open your bosom! Mine burns in secret!’” (151). In this dialogue, Dimmesdale articulates how differently their sin has been treated. In Hester’s case, public punishment initially brought disapproval, but eventually led her to charity and a general acceptance by members of the society. However, Dimmesdale’s strong conscience will not rest while his sin goes unpunished, leaving him with a burning desire for both penalty and disclosure. It is illustrated that Dimmesdale’s conscience is plagued after his sin, and this distress intensifies once he learns of Hester’s new place in society, as a matronly figure. Dimmesdale’s hiding of sin and internalization of guilt damages his conscience and tears apart his
He was the last person that people would think as a sinner. Dimmesdale was sin when he was committed adultery with Hester. He broke the law of church, but he was afraid to face the punishment and indifferent attitude from he masses. As a faithful follower, Dimmesdale also afraid the punishment of God, so he flog himself with a whip. The physical and spiral torture and the control of Chillingworth stranded him in a world that he cannot contact with others. As the moving of story, the “side effect” of the hidden sin has reveal. Dimmesdale become more sick and powerless. As the end of the story, Dimmesdale concede the sin and died as the winner of the fight with hidden sin. Dimmesdale as a combination of saint and sinner, his sin is not committed adultery, but it is that he cannot face the sin and admit it. He wanted to be all perfect in the eyes of the masses, but destroyed his perfectly in the eyes of God. In our life, lots of people were trying to get all perfect, but eventually make it was worse. Dimmesdale elucidate the consequence of the hidden
The guilt of his sin has eaten him alive, so much that his visage and demeanor are almost cadaverous. Dimmesdale does not confess his sin until the end of the novel because he does not want to disappoint his congregation. He knows that if he reveals what he has done, then his followers will lose their respect for him. He is burdened with his sin; therefore, he inflicts pain upon himself for his wrongdoing. Dimmesdale goes as far as having vigils all night, being tortured by “diabolic shapes,” and emaciating and whipping himself. Dimmesdale punishes himself because he wants to repent for the sin that he has committed. However, he will not repent for his sin until he confesses.
In Dimmesdale not confessing and facing a punishment in the eyes of the church as well as the townspeople, causing him to take to his own means, while Hester is able to face a punishment. Dimmesdale does what he believes is right for his punishment by doing acts that damaged his mind and body. Dimmesdale, in creating his own punishment, holds vigils that last all night, fasted to the point that he barely ate anything at all, beat himself, and lost the will to live. Dimmesdale's sin stays with him throughout the book, and the readers see his mind and body deteriorate through his mysterious sickness, while the readers see Hester become a closed off outcast trying to repent. The townspeople in the book see DImmesdale's sickness, and how devoted he is to his faith and begin to believe that he is holy, and an angel sent to sent to save them, while Hester has repented and become able, as well as an
The townspeople who see the red A in the sky interpret it as a sign of respect for Governor Winthrop. They believe that since he passed that night, they believe the A stood for the word Angel.
As such the weight and burden of his sin only grew stronger. Dimmesdale desperately tried to relieve his guilt by “...inflicting a hideous torture on himself,” (Hawthorne 234) but to no avail. The only way Dimmesdale could have helped himself was by confessing his sin to the public, and that is what he did. However, when he did confess, the weight and guilt that built up inside were so immense that his confession was Dimmesdale’s “...[the] final words [that] came forth…” (Hawthorne 233). Dimmesdale had paid the ultimate price and died due to letting the problem grow to an immense proportion rather than directly handing it by confessing from the
Dimmesdale knew that his choice to step back and allow Hester to bear all the punishment was not morally just, and that choice forever ate at him until he revealed his true self. As the guilt grew stronger, he grew sicker and weaker. He was so afraid to ruin his reputation that he would rather suffer in silence. Hawthorne states, “…all the dread of public exposure, that had so long been the anguish of his life, had returned upon him; and he was already trembling at the conjunction in which- with a strange joy, nevertheless-he now found himself.”(140). Dimmesdale became lost within his identity due to the self-inflicted shame and guilt, and he finally came to the conclusion that he would be healthier if he came forward and revealed himself. Although the congregation was displeased, and he received all of their judgmental stares at once, he finally felt at peace. He realized that the punishment wasn’t nearly as bad as his own demons that were relentless. Shortly after his confession, he died. He knew he couldn’t die without clearing his conscience. Earlier in the novel he expressed some concern about black weeds growing over his grave because of his unconfessed sin. His remaining purpose of his survival relied solely on his chance to confess, to alleviate the monster that was slowly killing him, until it eventually
So while he's warning other to not commit a sin he commits a sin this shows how dimmesdale is
Roger Chillingworth and Arthur Dimmesdale were two of the main sinners in The Scarlet Letter. Both characters kept their sins secrete throughout the story. These sins included adultery, revenge, and even murder. Out of the two sinners, Chillingworth was the worst, because he never felt guilt for the terrible things he was doing. Dimmesdale spent his entire life in guilt and remorse for the sins he had committed (“Who”).
“Why, then, had he come hither? Was it but the mockery of penitence? A mockery, indeed, but in which his soul trifled with itself. He had been driven higher by the impulse of that Remorse which dogged him everywhere” (Hawthorne 138) here dimmesdale can 't face the justice of what he has done wrong which is why the author called him a coward and is the reason why he kept his secrets because he is a coward to admit it to and face the consequences which is why later the guilt of keeping them eats him from the inside. Dimmesdale also kept his secrets to keep his reputation as the revered so the town won 't judge him. If the people would have found out of what he has done then they would have punished him and possibly execute him. There also the reason of how the people look up to him for advice because he is the revered. He told the town he committed adultery it would also affect his roll of the revered it could make the people perspective on be very bad because of who
different actions the poor minister takes in order to attempt to atone for his sins such as