Essay on Dimmesdale a Sinner or Not?

Essay on Dimmesdale a Sinner or Not?

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter, the novelist suggests how Dimmesdale, a priest who is obligated to the church, has commited adultery, but keeps it a secret to keep the political and societal structure of the Puritan community. Throughout the first half of the novel Dimmesdale is portrayed as a small insignificant character that seems to have a strange liking for Hester Prynne in which the reader does not pinpoint why, until he and Hester meet in the forest. Dimmesdale struggles throughout the novel dealing with his private and public life. Hawthorne defines that characters in the novel are made of how they deal with their own adverse situations.

Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, a petite character who gives compelling sermons and is a vital part of the Puritan community has a difficult time dealing with his duty to the church. The reader knows that Dimmesdale is the only one preventing himself from telling the community the truth, but he feels it will disrupt the society. Dimmesdale gets interrogated by Chillingworth, which leads him to physical and emotional trauma resulting in a heart condition that has a superficial meaning of his death later on in the novel. The real reason for his death is of a much deeper meaning it is because he has finally revealed his sin on the scaffold. We as readers do not know this for sure but we can infer it from context when the author sets the mood as he describes the scene “Pearl kissed his lips. A spell was broken” (Hawthorne 234). This scene is almost like a Disney movie in which a spell is broken. In this case it is a sin being lifted and a transformation unlike the frog prince but a transformation into death almost as if god rewarded him in an unconventional way for revealing...


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...in which they are portrayed as a congregation (loyalty) and Hester (love). Balancing these two is a daunting task. Whether Dimmesdale reveals the sin for guiltiness, or for a lack of devotion which is not evident in the novel the reader knows that Dimmesdale wanted to find a balance because he had a duty to the people but also to Hester Prynne. The Scarlet Letter employs concepts that we use today in a way it’s a living but dead novel. It is living in that we explore its traits but dead in that the author and puritan community is gone. There are communities like that today for instance the dog fighting ring in which Michael Vick said, “It was wrong” (60 minutes) He says he was into dog fighting because that is how he grew up because everyone else in his neighborhood had similar feelings to how the puritans viewed sin and passion in that they didn’t know any better.

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