Appearance vs. Reality in the Scarlet Letter

656 Words3 Pages
Present day churches can be filled with hypocrites. Some members and religious leaders go to church to look nice and appealing to someone else. They present themselves as holy and perfect and incapable of doing wrong, but they know they are far from that. As hard as they may try to look and act like the perfect being, the truth of their imperfect ways will be revealed for all to know. This is the case with the character or Arthur Dimmesdale from The Scarlet Letter. Dimmesdale appears incorruptible, revered and strong, but in reality he was corrupt, dishonest, and weak.
Arthur Dimmesdale presented himself as an uncorrupted man by his social status. Inside he felt unworthy and corrupt form the sin he has committed. The town’s people looked up to Dimmesdale as a man who could commit no grand sin. “People say that the Reverend Master Dimmesdale, her godly pastor, takes it very seriously to heart that such a scandal should have come upon his congregation.” (48). Little did they know that the scandal that Dimmesdale took to hear was the fornication that happened between Dimmesdale and adulteress Hester Prynne. His sinful ways was affecting his health greatly. “Some declared, that, if Mr. Dimmesdale were really going to die, it was cause enough, that the world was not worthy to be any longer trodden by his feet.” (106). The town’s people respected him so much so that they figured it was the world that is corrupt and not Dimmesdale.
Being the pastor of the town Dimmesdale was a revered man. He held the responsibility to lead the town’s people spiritually. Although he tried to live a double life of being a pastor and a man who is trying to keep his greatest sin a secret. He cannot come to terms to confessing his sin even if his guilt i...

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...ter.” (149). While Hester had to receive the penance of her actions and conquer it, Dimmesdale was still in hiding like the coward he presented himself as. He views Hester as the one that got the better end of the situation by saying “Happy are you, Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom! Mine burns in secret!” (167) Dimmesdale envies Hester’s letter because she has no need to hide form anyone and live in secret. Towards the end of his life, Dimmesdale, has enough strength to admit to his sinful actions and declares of God’s mercy.
The war that is going on inside Arthur Dimmesdale is one of appearance vs. reality. Dimmesdale in the end conquers his tribulations and admits to his hypocritical ways. While the town’s people viewed him as their incorruptible, revered and strong pastor they came to realize that he was corrupt, dishonest, and weak.
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