Changes of Character in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter

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The Scarlet Letter: Changes of Character The Scarlet Letter involves many characters that go through several changes during the course of the story. In particular, the young minister Dimmesdale, who commits adultery with Hester, greatly changes. He is the moral blossom of the book, the character that makes the most progress for the better. It is true that Dimmesdale, being a minister, should be the role model of the townspeople. He is the last person who should commit such an awful crime and lie about it, but in the end, he confesses to the town. Besides, everybody, including ministers, sin, and the fact that he confesses illustrates his courage and morality. Hester and Dimmesdale’s affair goes undiscovered until Hester is pregnant and bears a child without having her husband present. As her punishment, Hester is forced to stand on the scaffold in the middle of the market place, with an A on her chest. Dimmesdale has not told a single person that he is the adulterer. He sits in the balcony with the Governor, a judge, a general, and the rest of the ministers, watching the display, without any expression or emotion. Hester and Pearl go to the Governor’s home to deliver a pair of gloves, but more importantly to inquire about the possibility of the government taking away her child. Also there with Governor Bellingham are Pastor Wilson, Reverend Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth. After Mr. Wilson asks Pearl a few questions, the Governor decides that Hester is unfit as a mother and that the child would be better off in the hands of the church. Hester begs Dimmesdale, whom she says knows everything about her and has charge of her soul, to speak for her. Therefore, he does, convincing the Governor to let Hester keep Pearl. This is Dimmesdale’s first step to becoming the moral blossom. Late at night, a few years after the previous incident, Dimmesdale takes a walk through the town. He climbs onto the scaffold and pretends to confess; though there is no one out at this time at night. Hester and Pearl, on their way home, pass Dimmesdale on the scaffold. Dimmesdale calls out to them and they join him, standing hand in hand in the darkness. Dimmesdale has begun the road to confession by acknowledging Hester and Pearl and by acting out confession. Now he feels guiltier than ever.
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