Scarlet Letter Guilt Quotes

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People often ask if guilt leads to repentance. Nathaniel Hawthorne shows that it does within his novel “A Scarlet Letter.” Through the novel, Reverend Dimmesdale is slowly eaten away by the guilt that resonates in his conscience from not admitting to his fowl play alongside Hester, as she carries the weight of the sin on her own throughout the novel by being excluded from the Puritan Society wearing a scarlet letter on her bosem. Overcome by guilt, grief, and self hatred, Reverend Dimmesdale conquers his subconscious fears by purifying his heart. Dimmesdale is filled with guilt throughout the entirety of the novel. The guilt begins with his hidden relationship with Hester, as he allows her to take on the heavy weight of the letter by herself. …show more content…

He hated himself for falling into Chillingworth’s trap, it made him disheveled in appearance and caused him to go have bipolar type mood swings. He had changed so much since Hester’s public opinion on the scaffolding, because at that time he had scolded her in front of everyone and spoke that she was doing everything wrong, but he later says that she is doing everything right with her daughter. He also speaks of how God's will was following what Hether was doing. Dimmesdale had a lot of hatred for himself for that day, he even secretly admits that Pearl was an example of both the fathers self hatred and guilt and the mothers, “‘...This child of it's father’s guilt and it’s mother’s shame hath come from the hand of God, to work in many ways upon her heart…” (Hawthorne, 1994, p. 78). His self hatred pushed him further towards the path of repentance and purifying of his …show more content…

His purification process began with the mending of his relationship with Hester Prynne. He meets her in the woods with Pearl and lets his guard down speaking of the fact that he loves her and wishes he could leave this haunted dreery past behind him and run away with both of them, but he knew he could not do that without asking for forgiveness and repenting to the society. When he announces his mistake to society he appears to be lighter and his body slowly drains as his soul becomes purified, “It seemed, at this point, as if the minister must leave the remainder of his secret undisclosed. But he fought back the bodily weakness, --and, still more, the faintness of heart,-- that was striving for the mastery with him. He threw off all assistance, and stepped passionately forward a pace before the woman and the child.” (Hawthorne, 1994, p. 174). As one of the final tellings of his now apparent sin he showed his own scarlet letter to the crowd, “With a convulsive motion he tore away the ministerial band from before his breast. It was revealed! But it were irreverent to describe that revelation.” (Hawthorne, 1994, p. 175). Finally he opens his heart up to Pearl just like she wanted and she showed him affection in return as he touches her cheek and she kisses him, “Pearl kissed his lips. A spell was broken. The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a

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