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.
“And the infectious poison of that sin had been thus rapidly diffused throughout his moral system” (Hawthorne 174). In The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale serves as the holiest person many people meet in their moral lifetime, and as the purest embodiment of God’s word. However, Dimmesdale has a wounding secret, a cancer, that tears his soul apart throughout his time in America. Dimmesdale falls prey to sin in a moment of passion with Hester, resulting in her condemnation by the townspeople, and the birth of their child, Pearl. For years, Dimmesdale’s life is defined by an internal conflict - his job demands his purity in the eye of the townspeople, but he desires the acceptance of herself that Hester achieves through her sin being made public. His
As humans, we live in the that are brimming with sins and evil desire. As the creator of all the creatures, God, sent his only son to save the people from the control of devil. The only thing we have to do is to acknowledge our mistake. Bible teach us that we should tell the truth to God and your neighbors, and God will forgive you. But people are worse, they not only hide the sin and their evil behaviors but also try to deny it. We are born sinners, we can not be save only based on how we act but depend on do we acknowledge our sins. In the novel Scarlet letter, author Nathaniel Hawthorne compare and contract the hidden sin and the revealed sin but use the end of Dimmesdale and Hester to claim the consequence of hide sins.
Hester went to plead that the officials of the town leave Pearl in her care and not take her away to be raised by any one else. When it seems that Hester is losing this battle she asks Dimmesdale to speak in her defense which he does quite passionately. This desire to protect the mother and daughter bond of Hester and Pearl is what seems to draw Pearl to approach Dimmesdale and take “his hand in the grasp of both her own…” and lay “her cheek against it; a caress so tender…” (The Scarlet Letter, Chapter VIII) Dimmesdale’s defense and Pearl’s reaction are two cues that lead the reader to begin seeing the truth of who Pearl’s father
The syntax in The Scarlet Letter mimics the previously mentioned dark yet romantic and descriptive tone of the novel. Maintaining its seriousness and formality, Hawthorne uses additions such as imagery, personification, metaphor, and symbolism to keep the book’s underlying flowery and romantic storyline. This complex writing style required Hawthorne to utilize very long and illustrative sentence structure. His dedication to detail is seen in his use of comparison to portray both beauty and ugliness. In fact, the only time we see short and choppy sentences is character dialogue and conversation. The effect that Hawthorne is attempting to create is one of dramatic story-telling. Almost over describing every aspect, Hawthorne preserves his fluidity
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.
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”).
different actions the poor minister takes in order to attempt to atone for his sins such as
He feels he shouldn't be a minister or have people look up to him. On the last day of his life he sees Hester in the woods, they talk and make a plan to runaway together. Leaving, Hester, Dimmesdale feels a million times better. The excitement of Mr. Dimmesdale’s feelings as he returned from his interview with Hester lent him unaccustomed physical energy, (Hawthorne 204). That night he writes his speech to step down as a minister. Something happens as he gives his sermon, something just snaps in him. As he walks out of the church he calls out for Hester, Arthur asks her and Pearl to stand on the scaffold with him. There in front of everyone he confesses his sin, and there he dies. No one ever really believed that Pearl was his child. This just goes to show that sometimes you fall from the pedestal while others are held so high they can “never” fall. In the end Arthur is still loved while Hester will forever be condemned to wear the Scarlet A. Real people have reputations too not just characters in a
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.
In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, both Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. However, one suffered more than the other did because the punishments were different. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale suffered more than Hester because, unlike Hester, he had nothing to live for and because of the guilt he had to keep hidden.Reverend
Dimmesdale revealed the scarlet letter he hid for so long, and he stood with pride in his face. In chapter 23 Hawthorne says; “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. For an instant, the gaze of the horror-stricken multitude was concentrated on the ghastly miracle; while the minister stood, with a flush of triumph in his face, as one who, in the crisis of acutest pain, had won a victory.” Which reveals that God forgave Dimmesdale for his sins. Dimmesdale was then finally kissed by Pearl on the lips. Pearl’s role as consciousness was fulfilled. At the end of chapter 23, Hawthorne states; “"Shall we not meet again?" whispered she, bending her face down close to his. "Shall we not spend our immortal life together? Surely, surely, we have ransomed one another, with all this woe! Thou lookest far into eternity, with those bright dying eyes! Then tell me what thou seest!" Which represents Pearl’s role being fulfilled. He then states; "Hush, Hester--hush!" said he, with tremulous solemnity. "The law we broke I--the sin here awfully revealed!--let these alone be in thy thoughts! I fear! I fear! It may be, that, when we forgot our God--when we violated our reverence each for the other's soul--it was thenceforth vain to hope that we