Who Is Arthur Dimmesdale A Hero In The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter is a book filled with characters that are neither always good or always evil. Scarlet Letter, written by a famous Romantic author, compiles his book with characters composed of moral vagueness. One of those characters is Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is such an engaging character because he is the minister of the town, but also has committed adultery with Hester Prynne and hides it from the community. In being a minster lying and committing adultery are not qualities many other clergymen possess. The moral ambiguity characteristic of Arthur Dimmesdale comes from his uncourageous personality that holds him back from making right choices and being a real example to others. Even though he commits terrible …show more content…

In fact Hawthorne even states, " Mr. Dimmesdale; a young clergyman who had come from one of the great English universities... his eloquence and religious favor had already given the earnest of high eminence in his profession"(Hawthorne 72). Obviously Dimmesdale is a highly respected man in this town and people look towards him as a minister to help guide them through a moral and just lifestyle. However, Dimmesdale is also a liar. Dimmesdale is afraid of revealing his sin to the public because he fears the consequences that follow. Therefore he tries with all of his heart to keep it a secret and even has the audacity to put his co-adulterer, Hester Prynne, on trial. Dimmesdale's non courageous personality even gets worse when he watches the community taunt and mistreat Hester for her sin, "Ah, but let her cover the mark as she will, the pang of it will be always in her heart" says a young mother (Hawthorne 78), "Thus the young and pure would be taught to look at her, with the scarlet letter flaming on her breast... as the figure, the body, the reality of sin" (Hawthorne …show more content…

In fact, in a way, the audience pities and understands Dimmesdale's reasoning. Dimmesdale himself feels an overwhelming sense of guilt due to the fact that there is no atonement in a Puritan society so instead he continuously tortures himself to rid of the guilt he possesses. "Here he had studied and written; here gone through fast and vigil, and come forth half alive, here striven to pray; here borne a hundred thousand agonies" (Hawthorne 333). This quote shows how harshly Dimmesdale was treating himself. In the book it goes on to explain that he fats intensely, whips himself, holds practices in very intense vigils (period of keeping awake during the time spent asleep), and finally scars himself with a letter "A" on his chest. All of this contributes to the fact that we all as humans cannot blame him for keeping this a secret because when fearing for our lives we will do anything we can to

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