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.
When considering the term “narcissism,” one often conjures up the image of a conceited, self-absorbed person who excessively praises their own perfection. However, narcissism as a psychological disorder is much deeper. According to licensed mental health counselor Michael Samsel, narcissism is best described as “organizing one 's life around the goal of being superior.” And yet, “superiority is not just about learning to do one or more things well, it is about hiding any evidence of imperfection in other areas” (Samsel). A narcissistic personality often causes turmoil, with the ever-present black hole of self-importance potentially manifesting into an abusive relationship. In The Scarlet Letter, a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a narcissistic personality is seen in the character of Dimmesdale, the reverend in the Puritan town of 17th century Boston, and secret lover of Hester Prynne. Hester, having given birth to a child out of wedlock, is forced to wear the letter “A” on her chest as punishment for her adultery. She is ceaselessly insulted and ostracized by the other Puritans for the rest of her time in the town. Meanwhile, Hester refuses to reveal who her lover is and thus, Dimmesdale is able to maintain his facade of a pure and holy reverend. However, Dimmesdale belittles Hester’s suffering while punishing himself out of shame, revealing his narcissistic tendencies.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale commits a mortal sin by having an affair with a married woman, Hester Prynne. As a man of the cloth in Puritan society, Dimmesdale is expected to be the embodiment of the town’s values. He becomes captive to a self-imposed guilt that manifests from affair and his fear that he won’t meet the town’s high expectations of him. In an attempt to mitigate this guilt, Dimmesdale acts “piously” and accepts Chillingworth’s torture, causing him to suffer privately, unlike Hester who repented in the eyes of the townspeople. When Dimmesdale finally reveals his sin to the townspeople, he is able to free himself from his guilt.
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
In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne writes of the hypocrisy of the Puritans in the 1600’s. He expresses the hardships of Hester Prynne and her adulterous lover, Authur Dimmesdale, who is also the town’s preacher. Because Reverend Dimmesdale is a very noble preacher, he has to persist with the guilt of his sin and continue to preach how one should live a holy and pure lifestyle. Therefore, he feels miserable for his wrongdoing and punishes himself. Even though Dimmesdale inflicts an abundant amount of penance for his sin on himself, it takes the whole course of the novel to experience his penitence for his sin.
One quote by Dave Grohl, “Guilt is cancer. Guilt will confine you, torture you, and destroy you as an artist. It's a black wall. It's a thief,” The feeling of guilt is one that may leave others in sorrow and despair. Without confessing what one has done will eventually lead to a life of fear, nervousness, and insecurity. Within the novel The Scarlett Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne gives a good representation of how secret sin will destroy the sinner, which is then shown by the change in character by Reverend Aurthur Dimmesdale. Within The Scarlett Letter Dimmesdale evolves because of the sin that he has committed.
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy,” (KJV 28:13). The message of this short proverb is simple: confess. Despite this, there are millions refusing to reveal their hidden atrocities to the oblivious public. But you don’t need public ridicule for a sin to destroy you, in fact, it would be better if you did confess. This is the ideology of Nathaniel Hawthorne author of The Scarlet Letter. In this book, Hawthorne details an elaborate story showing the consequences of confessing sins in contrast to concealing it. A sin weighing down on you and destroying you from the inside out is a moral consequence and, the only remedy is confessing the sin. This notion can be seen in the difference between Hester and Dimmesdale with how they handled the scarlet letter and the effects of that.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne explores recurring themes of suffering surrounding the main characters, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester and Dimmesdale both commit adultery with each other, and, as a result of this, both experience gruesome and occasionally unbearable forms of suffering. Though they undergo different forms of pain, both of their experiences are highly reliant on how the Puritan society treats them. Hester 's pain stems from the shame and estrangement she receives from the community, while Dimmesdale’s is due to the reverence with which the community regards him. Although, in spite of the fact that both Hester and Dimmesdale receive harsh penalty for their sin, by the end of the book, Hawthorne shows how their suffering is, in fact, the key to their salvation. The hardships and punishments of both Hester and Dimmesdale, while difficult to endure at the time, were eventually beneficial and allowed them to free themselves from the Puritan community and escape their pain.
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
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”).
When we keep secrets we also keep guilt and guilt will destroy us from the inside. In the book of scarlet letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and how one woman who committed adultery with a character named dimmesdale who is the town revered. Dimmesdale kept secrets to maintaining his reputation but actions the guilt eats him from the inside.
Due to textual evidence found in the novel, it is relevant to say that Dimmesdale was a heroic character in the Scarlet Letter. Dimmesdale can be considered heroic in the novel because he is compassionate, wants to appeal to Hester, and is in general just a nice human being. Details of Dimmesdale’s compassion include him going on Hester’s side when her baby was at risk of being taken away from her and also has conversations with Hester into reviving their relationship. dimmesdale shows acts of appeal to Hester by standing on the scaffold, and is generally nice by wanting to know his own daughter.
As the story progresses, it is apparent that Dimmesdale is the father of Pearl. As a an important member of the Church, he conceals his sin in an attempt to make it to go away. Unfortunately for him, the concealment of his sin takes a toll on his mental and physical health. He becomes a manic-depressive. Not only had he committed adultery, he also was being a hypocrite, as reverend calling for the acceptance of your sins. Throughout the story, it is clear that he wants to confess his sin, when he is yelling at the scaffold at night but he’s too weak to do it publicly. The interactions between Hester and Dimmesdale show her hold over him because she has been publicly condemned for a sin that they had committed together. His inability to reveal and accept the truth makes him extremely weak. When Dimmesdale decides to reveal the truth during his Election Day speech, he passes away because he had waited too