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Truth In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

Decent Essays
How powerful is the truth? In the Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a dark romantic novelist, tells a story about an emotionally strong yet, sinful young woman. The woman, Hester Prynne, commits adultery and must wear the letter “A” as punishment. This punishment gives her total ignominy for her crime that cannot be hidden because of her daughter, Pearl. The father is none other than, Arthur Dimmesdale, a highly respected minister of the Puritan town and has a paramour, Hester. Hester never tells anyone who the father is until seven years later. Arthur Dimmesdale stands confidently on the scaffold and admits he is the father of Pearl and collapses due to the relief from his darkest secret. He feels a sense of solace after…show more content…
Lo, the scarlet letter which Hester wears!” (249). In other words, Dimmsdale denounces himself by admitting he is the father of Pearl. Hawthorne uses juxtaposition by placing the unrelated words, “sinner” and “holy” next to each other so, it emphasizes the conflict man vs. man. People deem him to be holy and a model for Puritans, but in reality, he is a sinner. Dimmsdale fully comes to admit his sin to the community by preaching it to the strict Puritan crowd. He allows for the hidden truth to take over his…show more content…
In other words, Hawthorne explains how Dimmsdale can not be one person when he is with Hester and be a different person when he is with his executives and the other Puritan town members. Hawthorne uses his sagacity about honesty by indirectly characterizing Dimmsdale when he describes him as a,“man...wear one face to himself and another to the multitude…”, which shows Dimmesdale's fraudulent personality. Hawthorne uses this quote to explain how Dimmesdale was being deceitful by lying to the Puritans about his purity and his feelings towards Hester Prynne. Hiding the truth caused Dimmsdale to be “two-faced” towards Hester, Pearl, his elites and the other Puritans which, lead to the truth to set free after, the barriers of secrecy were
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