preview

The Scarlet Letter - Impact of Sin on Dimmmesdale, Chillingworth and Hester

Good Essays
The Scarlet Letter - Impact of Sin on Dimmmesdale, Chillingworth and Hester

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a seventeenth century Baptist preacher, commented that, "Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of." An individual either faces their actions or runs from them, and Gothic Romance authors often write about the evil that emerges in people when they conceal their sins. Throughout the novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne demonstrates this idea through the actions of his three main characters, Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth. In spite of the nearly equal severity of their sins, Dimmesdale, Chillingworth and Hester react to their dilemmas in varying
…show more content…
Dimmesdale finally proves himself prepared to confess his sin after he meets Hester in the woods and gains strength and support from her. Following the procession, he stands up next to Hester and Pearl on the scaffold states the scarlet letter upon Hester's chest "is but a shadow of what he bears on his own breast" (238). Over a period of seven years, Dimmesdale's guilt bottles up inside of him and causes him to perceive his letter as a much deeper red compared to Hester's. Sadly, he endures his pain for so long that when he finally relieves himself of the punishment, the guilt succeeds in killing him. Therefore, Dimmesdale's choice in reacting with guilt to his dilemma demonstrates misjudgment because it ends up killing him.

Between the three characters, Roger Chillingworth handles his dilemma, Hester's betrayal, in the most sinister way. He reacts to this adultery by focusing on revenge. For instance, he commits a sin from the very start of his relationship with Hester. He mistreats her and marries her despite the fact that she does not love him. Furthermore, Chillingworth even admits that their sins are equally wrong and declares that, "the scale hangs evenly balanced" (79). However, Chillingworth becomes more evil and, although he decides not to hurt her, he takes awful revenge on her accomplice. For example, Chillingworth demonstrates this evil revenge when he attaches himself to every aspect of Dimmesdale's life
    Get Access