Perceptions of Dimmesdale and Chillingworth in the Scarlet Letter

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Chillingworth and Dimmesdale: Reflections of True Puritan Society 18th century’s perception of the Puritan Society was that Puritans were a zealous community of people that lived with strict moral standards which allowed them to live in perfect harmony. However, the truth is Puritans were overly zealous whose values created paranoia and intolerance for other views. Through the characters Dimmesdale and Chillingworth who are also falsely perceived, Hawthorne suggest they are representative of the dour living of Puritan society that is hidden by the puritan’s tranquil and utopian outlook. John Winthrop aimed to created Christian utopian society when he founded the puritan community, he failed in this goal. Even with his failure,…show more content…
The same is true for the Puritans, because their actions are being done in the name of God and Christ, it gives the people the perception the Puritans innocence is guaranteed and that God grants them harmony, peace, and benevolence. Both Chillingworth and the Puritans exemplify that the association with religion adds the conation of innocence. Arthur Dimmesdale, the most heavily devout in the community serves to directly represent the puritan community. This is proven because both Dimmesdale and the Puritan community are the most devout and religious in their respective areas. It even goes further to show the direct representation the way Dimmesdale is driven by corruption and evil, that derived from bottled guilt from adultery, just as the people of Puritan Society are driven by corrupted beliefs and feelings, such as hate and highly restricted free will. In both instances corruption not only drives Dimmesdale and the Puritans, but the more corrupted they become it only causes them to perform greater. “According to their united testimony, never had man spoken so wise, so high, and so holy though mortal lips more evidently than it did through his [Dimmesdale]”(335). His sermons became wiser and religiously stronger as his corruption and guilt built up, until it reached the point before it would be released free, which he then delivered the
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