Life is unpredictable, and through trial and error humanity learns how to respond to conflicts and learns how to benefit from mistakes. Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a character who changes and gains knowledge from the trials he faces, but first he has to go through physical, spiritual, and emotional agony. In the midst of all the havoc, the young theologian is contaminated with evil but fortunately his character develops from fragile to powerful, and the transformation Dimmesdale undergoes contributes to the plot’s climax.
Every human has sinned but Dimmesdale’s evil deeds led him to live a double life—one as a godly minister and another as the “greatest sinner.” Meanwhile Hester was at trial and being punished for her sin, Dimmesdale showed no sign of guilt and he did not have the valor to stand by her side and take full accountability for his actions. Not only did Dimmesdale fail as a lover, but he also failed as a father by denying Pearl and allowing her to live as an outcast. The townspeople held the minister as a saint but little did they know that he disobeyed the eighth commandment from Exodus 20:16, by hiding the truth from his church Dimmesdale became a liar. Moreover, in chapter twenty Dimmesdale confesses all the evil thoughts that roam in his mind and that his flesh desires to do. He even states how he has used his eloquence to manipulate the youngest female member to attend church. As a result of all the evil deeds, the minister seems to depart from his relationship with God and is confused. Dimmesdale becomes lost and desperate, he habitually questions life and his identity but ironically the famed theologian finds no concrete answers to h...
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...espite of what they thought. Dimmesdale confession would prove him to be a man of humbleness and honesty, a man who ratifies his errors of the past and completes his duty as a minister, father, husband, and son of God. Moreover, Dimmesdale has the ability to set himself free from Chillingworth’s bondage instead of bearing more of Chillingworth’s psychological torture. The temptations the minister faced would give him the strength to overcome his fears and to become a devoted man.
Like all humans, Dimmesdale had to pay the consequences of his evil deeds, but he would later learn from his mistakes and change from fragile to powerful, and his strength would renovate him almost into a new person. Dimmesdale may have died soon but at least he was at ease with himself that he had not died as a coward but had been honest to God, himself, his family, and the townspeople.
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