The main characters whose lies devastate the characters in the novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, are Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, and Hester. Each character has once told a lie either about their character or identity. First, Dimmesdale is well-known in the community as a minister who gives sermons. But the townspeople do not know about the affair between him and Hester. He lies because he does not want to give up his reputation as a minister. The effect of him lying is that he has a guilty conscience, thinks that he “sold himself to the devil”, and ironically, people view him as a saint. (Hawthorne 193). Next, Chillingworth is an old man who is well-known in the community as the town doctor who makes medicine and takes
The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, consists of multiple characters that are all important to the novel: Hester Prynne, Pearl Prynne, Roger Chillingworth, and Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester Prynne is the protagonist who has a affair with Reverend Dimmesdale behind her husband’s, Roger Chillingworth, back thus creating Pearl Prynne, the outcome of Hester and Dimmesdale’s affair. Since Hester was pregnant, she was charged for committing adultery, and her punishment is to wear a Scarlet Letter on her bosom. Though, the whole novel surrounds that idea of who the father is, because Hester and Dimmesdale won't reveal their sin, which creates conflict and tension between all the characters. Though Dimmesdale, in particular, caused chaos
The second main character in The Scarlet Letter that had a lot of struggles was the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Even though it is suspected throughout most of the novel, we find out later in it that Dimmesdale is Pearl’s father and the one that committed adultery with Hester Prynne. Most of
Secrets can destroy even the most respected people. Sometimes is not the secret itself that drives people into exhaustion, but the emotional baggage that comes with it. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Dimmesdale physically deteriorates because of his guilt caused by a dishonorable sin. The Puritan society in which the story is set discourages the idea of the private self, which Hawthorne shows by creating distinctions between the characters’ private and public lives, specifically Dimmesdale’s.
French poet Jean De La Fontaine once said, “Nothing weighs on us so heavily as a secret does.” Set in the harsh Puritan community of seventeenth-century Boston, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a tale of a woman named Hester Prynne who is involved in an affair scandal. As a result she is punished by the relentless society and is ordered to bear a scarlet “A” on her bosom for the remainder of her life which stands for adulterer. However, the mystery as to who the father is of her newborn baby, Pearl would remain a mystery for seven years. One of the town’s most renowned figures, their beloved minister Arthur Dimmesdale proves to be a true exhibit of Mr. Fontaine’s saying since he is the illicit lover of Hester and is Pearl’s
Do you act differently around certain people? Are your actions different because you want to impress a girl, the popular kids, or your teacher you want a letter of recommendation from? All around the world, people try to disguise their true self, just so they can fit in and be someone they are not. In The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale had been living behind a mask for seven excruciating years, as he remained unwilling to face the repercussions of society for his adulterous affair with Hester Prynne. If Dimmesdale was his honest and true self, he would have escaped death. While the epic is exaggerated through paranormal and supernatural occurrences, many of the punishments inflicted and morals questioned are quite topical today. Nathaniel Hawthorne encourages the readers to ‘show freely to the world’, no matter how daunting that personality may be (410). Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale’s downfall affirms the damaging effects of falsifying one’s disposition in The Scarlet Letter and today’s society.
From her initial introduction to the reader as the “yonder babe, (…) of some three or four months old”, Pearl represents the beauty of the truth (54). As she struggles to find answers about her mother’s scarlet A while simultaneously growing up, Pearl identifies as an innocent character, despite her creation. It is frequently noted that she looks similar to the scarlet letter that her mother so reluctantly bears, with her “bright complexion [and] eyes possessing intensity both of depth and glow, and hair already of a deep, glossy brown” (76). Her similar appearance to the scarlet letter furthers her permanent connection to the letter. Additionally, it highlights the notion that her mother will likely never be able to look at her without reminiscing upon her sin. As Pearl develops, her fire-like actions and dark appearance further molds her into the fleshly expression of Hester’s adultery. Furthermore, Hawthorne ensures to characterize Pearl throughout the novel as a friend to the sunlight, a friend to the truth. As she begins to pick determine that Dimmesdale is her father, the sunlight welcomes her. This is because she is the only innocent character who is not afraid to step into the sun’s rays. Pearl recognizes the light’s love for her and audibly notes, “the
Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, a main character in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, proves to be a sinner against man, against God and most importantly against himself because he has committed adultery with Hester Prynne, resulting in an illegitimate child, Pearl. His sinning against himself, for which he ultimately paid the
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne presents the reader with the harsh, life changing conflicts of three Puritan characters during the 17th century. Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, and Robert Chillingworth must endure their different, yet surprisingly similar struggles as the novel progresses. Despite their similarities, Hawthorne shows these individuals deal with their conflicts differently, and in the end, only one prevails. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s intricately critical diction helps determine his didactic tone; during the course of The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne reveals that happiness can be harnessed through one’s perseverance.
‘Honesty is the best policy’; ‘Always be yourself”, are common phrases many parents tell their children and as common as they may be, being honest and being true yourself contributes to individual happiness and contentness. ‘The Scarlet Letter’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a novel that dives deep into these key themes of honesty and integrity and the consequences of doing the opposite action. One of the main characters, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is a minister in 17th century Puritan New England who has deteriorating health because of his lies and guilt. Dimmesdale commits adultery with a beautiful woman in the town, Hester Prynne, whose husband, Roger Chillingworth, returns from Europe later on. Pearl, who is a product of Hester and
In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays Arthur Dimmesdale as a troubled individual. In him lies the central conflict of the book. Dimmesdale's soul is torn between two opposing forces: his heart, his love for freedom and his passion for Hester Prynne, and his head, his knowledge of Puritanism and its denial of fleshly love. He has committed the sin of adultery but cannot seek divine forgiveness, believing as the Puritans did that sinners received no grace. His dilemma, his struggle to cope with sin, manifests itself in the three scaffold scenes depicted in The Scarlet Letter. These scenes form a progression through which Dimmesdale at first denies, then accepts reluctantly, and finally conquers his sin.
Guilt can destroy someone mentally. According to The Scarlet Letter, it can destroy someone physically as well. Dimmesdale is one of the main characters who chose to keep his sin a secret. Not only does he have to live with the knowledge and guilt of what he did, but he has to constantly pretend that he is more pure than he is. The people of the Puritan town tortured him in a way, because the large amount of praise they gave the minister just made him more guilty and remorseful. The novel The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne takes place in a 1600’s Puritan community named Massachusetts Bay Colony. Dimmesdale has had an affair with the main character, Hester Prynne. He never confessed to his actions, so he never suffered any direct consequences. Because of this, the puritan town’s view of Dimmesdale stays relatively the same throughout the novel, until the ending. Dimmesdale has been kept down heavily from the guilt and remorse brought from keeping his sin a secret.
The scarlet letter is the Puritan’s method of broadcasting Hester’s sin to the world, but it also has an internal effect on Dimmesdale. Puritanism is a strict religion where pleasure is strictly forbidden and is punishable. When Hester Prynne is discovered to have committed adultery, she is forced to wear a scarlet A, which is short for ‘adultery’. When this is first revealed, Hester stands in the jail carrying baby Pearl and, with the people jeering, is asked by Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale if she would tell the world who the Pearl’s father is; Dimmesdale is relieved when the answer is ‘no’– and it is later revealed that Dimmesdale is the father. Over the course of the novel, Dimmesdale’s
As American-British novelist Mark Lawrence once said, “We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next”. The aforementioned contradictions are what lead to conflicts, and in turn growth and acceptance. Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his revolutionary classic The Scarlet Letter, delves into the conflicts that the brave, yet infamous Hester Prynne has to overcome. As Hawthorne unfolds the unfortunate tragedy of Hester and her mysterious lover, the battles Hester has to face are multiple external and internal stimuli that bring about the growth of Hester as a character. The onerous obstacles that Hester must face through her life wear her out mentally, but only then can she truly grow and accept who she is.