His life's work has been dedicated to God, and now his sin has tainted it. He feels that he is a fraud and is not fit to lead the people of the town to salvation. His secret guilt a much heavier burden than Hester's since he must hold it all within himself. This also reveals Dimmesdale weakness. Arthur wanted desperately to admit his sin to the world, which is shown throughout the book.
Dimmesdale suffers greatly because of the consequences of his refusal to acknowledge his sin and is therefore portrayed as a hypocrite because does not confess his sin still continues to act as a well-respected minister. When the reader is first introduced to Dimmesdale they do not realize he is a hypocrite until later in the book. His hypocrisy is first made apparent when Hester is on a platform in front of the town as punishment and Dimmesdale is called to force Hester to confess who the father is: “Hester Prynne,” said he [Dimmesdale], leaning over the balcony and looking down steadfastly into... ... middle of paper ... ... of truth. At the end of the novel Hawthorne draws a conclusion from the story that “Among many morals which press upon us from the poor minister’s miserable experience, we put only this into a sentence-- Be true! Be true!
Arthur, through his own tainted actions, leaves himself in a position to either nullify the community's notion that the Reverend is a pure and godly individual or to lie to them. For most of the story, he chose the latter. "'You shall not bear false witness...'" (Exodus 20:16) Dimmesdale casts the eighth commandment aside as he continues to impress upon the Puritan community his moral and upright façade. "Happy are you Hester, that wear the scarlet letter openly upon your bosom! Mine burns in secret!"
Reverend Dimmesdale suffers for not being true to himself. The governor chooses Reverend Dimmesdale to be the judge of Hester. This shows that the people think he is righteous so he feels he has no choice but to hide for the sake of the people and what they believe in. Then instead of admitting his sin of adultery to the public, he keeps his secret to himself, knowing it will burn inside of him until he reveals it to the public and to pearl especially. The only thing worse in the Puritans society than committing a terrible sin is not admiting to it.
In that no matter how hard a person worked, how devoted to church they were, or how pious a person was, there was no way into Heaven. The only way in was by being a "chosen" one. Some of the Puritan's other contemptible beliefs include the degradation of one's self, the utter and total dependence on divine grace for salvation, and the wrath of an angry God. A non forgiving God was worshipped by the Puritan people. He was greatly feared by the people who tried feverishly to make themselves worthy of his grace in his eyes.
Proctor vs Dimmesdale In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the characters John Proctor and Arthur Dimmesdale are victims of the puritan ethics of Moderation and Unvarying Faith. These ethics are reflected in the way that they are forced to act like everyone else, resulting in a feeling of being trapped, as well as internal and physical torture, which led to their eventual demise. Hawthorne’s character Arthur Dimmesdale is the epitome of what a puritan should be. He is a minister—a man of God— yet despite his position, this perfect man has one dark secret: he is an adulterer and the father of an illegitimate child. This one sin is more than he can bear, for although he has many times repented, he feels he is not entirely forgiven.
Arthur Dimmesdale faces many challenges throughout the course of the novel, which causes him to evolve. Despite his many good qualities, he does not confess, while Hester Prynne gets publicly shamed for the sin they committed together. This adds up to the reader’s lack of empathy for Dimmesdale. He plays the role of “human frailty and sorrow.” The activities Hester and Dimmesdale engage in are completely unacceptable in the Puritan society. Arthur Dimmesdale is a Puritan minister, he is expected to be the representation of Puritan faith, so he refrains from disclosing the truth.
Though, his weak frame and sickly appearance only make his congregation think he is even more holy. The congregation accounts his ill visage to his “unreserved self-sacrifice to the labors and duties of the pastoral relation” (112). Yet behind closed doors, Dimmesdale would “[wield] the bloody scourge” and would hide his scarlet letter that he wore “imprinted in flesh” (268) from the public eye. The Puritan’s greatest sinner, is hidden behind lies and acts as the holiest and looked up to member in the
Essay 2 The rapid loss of faith in visible sanctity demonstrates the total depravity in Goodman Brown’s character that lead him to live an unfulfilled life. As soon as Goodman Brown hears the Devil’s sermon he doesn’t seek to refute it. Instead, he easily accepts that his father, grandfather, and the whole community were acquainted with the Devil. He then gradually begins to believe that the community of visible saints is corrupted and that they are performers of evil-doing. Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of Young Goodman Brown says “‘Goodman Brown stepped forth from the shadows...and approached the congregation, with whom he felt a loathful brotherhood by the sympathy of all that was wicked in his heart”(50).
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... ... middle of paper ... ...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.