Secrets eat away at the soul, wearing it down piece by piece until there is nothing left. This causes guilt to completely cloud a vision of a person making sure the secret is concealed. This leads to the person to become consumed by the secret and can damage a person into becoming ill for keeping confidentiality. The soul suffers from containing the truth becomes ill as well. The soul becomes just as damaged as the person wounded by the truth not being exposed. Eventually, in the end, the truth always comes out, causing more adversities of the repercussions of secrets. Dimmesdale in the novel the scarlet letter was respected by all and distrusted by none. Arthur Dimmesdale becomes so intertwined with hiding his sin from the townspeople, that …show more content…
Dimmesdale presumes, “That my labours, and my sorrows, and my sins, and my pains, should shortly end with me, and what is earthly of them be buried in my grave, and the spiritual go with me to my eternal state, rather than that you should put your skill to the proof in my behalf.” As mentioned before, the truth always comes out and Dimmesdale is naive to think the townspeople can be deceived into having a perfect image of the Reverend. Arthur Dimmesdale is the image of a reverend on the path to heaven but, after the sins committed, becomes a man of hypocrisy. Dimmesdale believes dying with the sins would end the transgressions, however, the Reverend soon finds out that the soul and body of Dimmesdale would be tortured into revealing the …show more content…
Dimmesdale’s sins completely take over the sunshine that used to shine over the reverend. The sin that Dimmesdale eats at his soul from the inside and out. Dimmesdale had been transformed into a mirror of his transgression. Dimmesdale’s battle with sin was evident, “The Glow, which they had just before beheld burning on his cheek, was extinguished, like the flame that sinks down hopelessly among the late decaying embers.” Since Dimmesdale had been withholding his sins, the reverend becomes ill from hiding the truth. Dimmesdale is consumed with so much guilt that the reverend started to punish the body God gives Dimmesdale for the sins committed. The Reverend believes that the punishment God is giving the reverend is to torturing the body given to Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale wants to expose the sins committed and live a life of truth just as Hester Prynne is living with her sins. Dimmesdale begins to envy Hester living a life of truth without having to punish the body God gives Hester, for the crime of adultery the woman commits with
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In the short story “The Minister’s Black Veil” and the novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the stories of two men who keep their sins secret and are hurt deeply. In The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Dimmesdale does not reveal his sin to the community and experiences far more pain than Hester, whose sin is revealed. Years after the original sin, Hester has healed and is accepted by the community, while Dimmesdale still feels guilty, as can be seen when he mounts the scaffold. Dimmesdale’s experience is similar to that of Reverend Hooper, who covers his face after a secret sin and is eschewed by the community. When we refuse to admit our faults, we will feel guilty
“What can thy silence do for him, except it tempt him— yea, compel him, as it were — to add hypocrisy to sin?” After the different approaches Dimmesdale brought forward to the community, she is being asked to reveal his name by asking what does she get from adding on to the sin. How does her hiding the name save him, from a sin he has already done? He tried in every way to get it out of her. He asks why was it okay for her lover to perform the adultery, do the sin, but then suddenly not okay for him to take on the punishment with her in front of the community.
Reverend Dimmsdale’s development through the text of “The Scarlet Letter” was that of positivity and peace. Dimmsdale was the secret father of Pearl and the secret lover of Hester Prynne. He was the reason for Hester’s torment and it showed on him through the book. Dimmsdale’s progression through “The Scarlet Letter” was a positive one because in the beginning he was unempathetic, in the middle of the book he was guilt-ridden and sympathetic, and at the end he was joyful and relieved. At the beginning of the story, Reverend Dimmsdale was introduced as a judge at Hester Prynne’s public shaming.
The private guilt within Dimmesdale had overtaken his body and caused him to have to “[fight] back the bodily weakness” and have to develop “the faintness of heart, that was striving for the mastery with him” (208). Hawthorne uses this to show how his guilt and sin were taking over him and his confessions were going to help him get into heaven when he dies. Dimmesdale internal struggle with guilt had begun to overcome his body and become an everlasting punishment of he did not confess to his wrongdoings. Although he did not have any public shaming like Hester, he was much worse off than Hester because it was a constant struggle with his own moral values and it eventually got the best of him. Following Dimmesdale’s confession, it is said that “a spell was broken” and that Pearl, “in which the wild infant bore a part, had developed all her sympathies” (209).
Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale physical features are transformed by the darkness weighing down on their hearts. Dimmesdale is introduced in the first scaffold scene. “[Dimmesdale] was a person of striking aspect with a white, lofty, and impending brow, large, brown, melancholy eyes, and a mouth which, unless he forcibly compressed it, was apt to be tremulous, . . .” (Hawthorne 62). These traits show the first hints at his internal feelings of guilt.
Dimmesdale truthfully wants and feels the need to reveal his sins, however because he is afraid of the backlash, he cannot. Afterwards he goes on to argue how there is “ ‘no power short of the Divine mercy’ “ that could reveal the secrets hidden in someone’s heart (123). Due to Dimmesdale’s profession of ministry he believes that divine powers are the only ones who can reveal secrets. The Divine mercy is this higher power that nothing can compare to, and its power is so immense that it is the only way to get a secret revealed from someone's heart. Dimmesdale also tells Chillingworth that many men may choose not to confess their sins because they don’t want to be “ ‘displaying themselves black and filthy’ “ (124) as in Puritan society, many things were considered sins, and sinning was the worst thing that could possibly be done.
Following his brief sense of freedom, Dimmesdale also feels that “the air was too fresh and chill to be long breathed” and he then “withdrew again within the limits of what their church defined as orthodox” (Hawthorne 102). The inner conflict within Dimmesdale as to what he truly believes in acts as a valuable example towards the muffling of one’s emotions, for Dimmesdale is indecisive as he ties himself to being a dedicated minister above even his own thinking. This see-saw of loyalty exposes that Dimmesdale also lives something akin to a double life, growing more and more withdrawn as the days go on without receiving either proper punishment for his affair or a clear sense of security that he truly belongs in the church. He has created an inimical attitude towards himself out of shame and confusion, deeply rooted in his mind and
The topics in The Scarlet Letter reflect the character’s physical and emotional health. Hester Prynne and Reverend Dimmesdale both share attributes that represent the topics of guilt, but display guilt in their own way. Hester and Dimmesdale display guilt based off their physical appearance. Body language exposes internal problems, emotions, and deep secrets. The characters expose themselves by releasing secrets unintentionally.
Initially, Dimmesdale does not appear incongruous to the Puritan society but acknowledges that vengeance will come upon him. He maintains his good
Characteristically when one views an esteemed minister he or she would conclude they rarely sin and would certainly not commit an illicit crime. Ironically, Dimmesdale is an honored minister that has concealed a sin for seven extensive years. The sin’s weight upon his heart has driven him into mentally tormenting himself, which leads to penance. The narrator describes the ways Dimmesdale inflicts torture on himself “In Mr. Dimmesdale’s secret closet, under lock and key, there was a bloody scourge. Oftentimes, this Protestant and Puritan divine had plied it on his own shoulders; laughing bitterly at himself the while, and smiting so much the more pitilessly because of that bitter laugh” (Hawthorne 132).
Reverend Dimmesdale committed the sin of adultery and in doing so, he fell victim to the moral consequences that resulted. Pearl observed that “. . . the minister keeps his hand over his heart. . .” (Hawthorne 163). Overtime, he began to appear pale and sickly.
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 sinned with Hester Prynne by committing adultery. Although this was terrible and looked down upon, his crime was self inflicting and done out of passion. After Hester was punished for the crime, Dimmesdale was overwhelmed with guilt and sadness. This showed that Dimmesdale was a good person
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
Guilt tortures from within. No one can escape from their own thoughts and speculation. Regret eats away at their insides until it completely destroys them. Generally, people try to mask their shame, which only leads to more pain. Nobody likes to admit that they have made a mistake, and we often refuse to share our mistakes with others.