The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Decent Essays

In The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, readers are faced with the obstacles of hiding one’s true intentions. Through the lens of three characters, Dimmesdale the priest, Chillingworth the medic, and Hester the typical citizen, the audience is able to learn a valuable lesson. No matter how people may present themselves, if they have a duplicitous nature, this behavior will ultimately be exposed. No man or woman is able to hide who they truly are forever, because eventually people will know what their true motives are. In all aspects of his life, Arthur Dimmesdale struggles with truth and confession. He cannot decide whether to be honest about his character, or do everything in his power to preserve and shield his real identity. To …show more content…

This is evident in his sermons becoming better and more relatable, his nightly lashings, and the deterioration of his health. Dimmesdale 's sermons becoming more relatable proves that with each passing day, he can feel the guilt of his mistake gaining weight on his psyche. His lashings indicate that he is cowardly and would rather physically hurt himself in private than take responsibility for what what he has done with dignity and honesty. The deterioration in his health is symbolic of the time he has left to confess. The longer Dimmesdale took to confess, the worse his condition got; his sickness was pushing himself to confess by draining his health so he would finally break and redeem himself. Throughout the novel, Dimmesdale attempted to keep his double life together but his guilt forced him to confess, exposing his true nature. In the novel, Roger Chillingworth has slowly transformed into a shell of who he once was. To the public, he first appears as who he once was, an educated scholar, but is later recognized for who he has turned into, a man corrupted with revenge. The creation of the persona that is Chillingworth shows the origin of Roger’s vengeance. It is evident that Roger is quick to jealousy and revenge because before he even chooses to ask Hester about her sin, he creates an alter ego to mask his true identity. Who he was before he came to the colony is now slowly becoming his false appearance while his new real character is one

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