The Guilt Of Dimmesdale In Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Scarlet Letter'

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Erin Joel
Mrs. Janosy
English 2H P 5
22 October 2015
Quote Explication
Dimmesdale is trying to overcome a conflict within his own soul, defying his own religion, and choosing to do wrong by keeping his sin to himself. In a theocracy type community like Dimmesdale's, God is known as the supreme civil ruler, and a crime would be known as a sin. On the other hand, Hester’s sin was made known to the public, receiving the public shame and ridicule she deserved. During the duration of time when the public knew Dimmesdale was hiding his sin, “the agony with which this public tortured him” (Hawthorne 119). causing Dimmesdale to feel terribly ill inside, knowing he is hiding his secret. When Dimmesdale says he is “ill,” it is his soul and emotions that are ill, knowing that he has a huge secret hidden and that the townspeople know, but he does not have a real sickness. Dimmesdale’s greatest fear is what other people’s opinion of him are, causing him to continually be living in fear. The guilt that Dimmesdale encounters is holding him back from letting out his sin because of his fear of what people will think of him. Defying his own beliefs, Dimmesdale shares his guilt through his sermons by saying “to reckon all things shadow-like, and utterly devoid of weight or value, that had not its divine essence and the life within their life” ( Hawthorne 119). Dimmesdale saying that to …show more content…

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

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