In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne exhibits how three very unique characters are evidently brought together by the sins that they have perpetrated and how they manage to perform acts of atonement in the puritanical Boston society. Hester Prynne sins by committing the shocking transgression of adultery. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, who as well engages in adultery with Hester, abandons her and their daugher because of his own cowardice and hypocrisy. Roger Chillingworth grows to become a maleficent being who tries to corrupt the very soul of Reverend Dimmesdale. Although Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale do sin greatly, it is Roger Chillingworth who sins to the most ferocious degree.
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
In the narrative, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Puritan society in which the novel takes place, Arthur Dimmesdale is the Puritan Minister in this community. With that position, he needs to portray the epitome of the puritan religion and morals. To be an example and role model to the entire community. However, reverend Dimmesdale is the biggest hypocrite to live in the Puritanical society. Although from the outside, a religious society is viewed as a perfect image they are often full of hypocrites. With reason being: asking for hester to confess the name of the father to Pearl and fellow adulterer, his refusal to confess, and overall being the face of a religious society.
One of the most adroit talents authors use is symbolism. Writers such as William Shakespeare, Ernest Hemingway, and Ray Bradbury have perfected this craft. One piece of literature’s symbolism I am distinguished with is Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Specifically, the how the names of the main characters have an underlying meaning.
Hawthorne gave the name Dimmesdale to the town’s reverend because of how he would change throughout the story. Dimmesdale’s personality would fade the longer the story went on. Dimmesdale's personality faded due to him feeling guilty of his sins and Roger Chillingworth taking the life right out of him. Dimmesdale felt guilty for the multiple sins he committed throughout the novel. At the beginning, Dimmesdale felt guilty that he had committed adultery. Dimmesdale decided he was not going to confess his sin even though he knew it was the right thing to do. Instead of taking on his troubles, he bottled them up inside of him, making him feel even more guilty than he already did. Dimmesdale could never really rid himself of this guilt because he did not confess his wrongdoing. To make matters worse, Roger Chillingworth was assigned to be the physician of this sick man. Chillingworth tortured Dimmesdale and only made the man's condition worsen. Towards the end, Dimmesdale feared he had signed his name in the the devils black book. This was the final straw for Dimmesdale. It was not until the final scene where Dimmesdale had died that he finally felt at peace with his life.
In “The Scarlet Letter,” Hawthorne presents the consequences of sin as an important aspect in the lives of Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingsworth, and Arthur Dimmesdale. The sin committed, adultery, between Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale had resulted in the birth of their innocent little girl, Pearl. This sin ruined the three main characters’ lives completely in different ways. With the sin committed, there were different ways the characters reacted to it: embracing the sin, concealing the sin, and becoming obsessed and consumed with it. With each reaction to the sin there were also different actions of redemption.
Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale takes the easy way out and does not tell the community that he is the one that committed adultery with Hester Prynne, which led to more pain than he saved. Him and Hester Prynne committed adultery together and as a result of that, they have a
The setting of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet letter” is crucial to the understanding of the event that takes place in the story. The setting of the story is in Salem, Massachusetts during the Puritan era. During the Puritan era, adultery was taken as a very serious sin, and this is what Hester and Dimmesdale committ with each other. Because of the sin, their lives change, Hester has to walk around in public with a Scarlet Letter “A” which stands for adultery, and she is constantly being tortured and is thought of as less than a person. Dimmesdale walks around with his sin kept as secret, because he never admits his sin, his mental state is changing, and the sin degrades his well-being. Chillingworth
In The Scarlet Letter Hypocrisy is evident everywhere. The characters of Hester, Dimmesdale, Chillingworth, and the very society that the characters lived in, were steeped in hypocrisy. Hawthorne was not subtle in his portrayal of the terrible sin of hypocrisy; he made sure it was easy to see the sin at work , at the same time however, parallels can be drawn between the characters of The Scarlet Letter and of today’s society.
Dimmesdale has a largely different approach to dealing with his sin. Arthur Dimmesdale handles his terrible guilt by concealing it to himself. To overcome it he would whip himself, and take long walks into the forest. Dimmesdale’s act of concealing his guilt shows that he is not brave enough to tell all and there for he must live fearfully and cowardly. This guilt he has chose to endure is much worse than any shame he would have felt had he just confessed his sin of adultery with Hester. Since he was a moral leader in his town he felt an obligation to keep it a secret but like in many cases where guilt is concealed, the sinner eventually reasons enough to confess. Dimmesdale does the same and confesses his sin to the townspeople. “He longed to speak out from his own pulpit, at the full height of his voice, and tell his people who he was.”
Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale are the two main characters in the novel the scarlet letter. As parents to Pearl, the daughter out of adultery, these two go through the journey of shunning and hatred, but not together. Their stories are very different, and yet, so very similar.
The guilt that plagues Arthur Dimmesdale, leads to the climax of the novel, in which Dimmesdale overcomes his inner conflict. Throughout the entire book, Dimmesdale has struggled with trying to reveal what he has done. At first he is to cowardly to do this, but eventually Dimmesdale realizes the only way to redeem himself is to confess his sins and repent. Knowing it is the only way to redemption, Dimmesdale goes before the whole town, with Hester and Pearl, and reveals his sin to the people. Dimmesdale’s
Arthur Dimmesdale, a minister, lives his life under the watchful yet admiring eye of the townspeople of Boston and, as a result, becomes a slave to the public opinion. His sin against Hester and Pearl is that he will
In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne’s act of adultery with Arthur Dimmesdale (Hawthorne 231) ultimately leads to negative and positive impacts on her life, including being isolated from everyone in town, being mocked and gossiped about, being more mature, and being more compassionate. One of the negative