For most of The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale chose to lie. Dimmesdale also believes that his sin has taken the meaning out of his life. 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 through their Puritan beliefs. Dimmesdale knows that he has done wrong.
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).
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
Everyone makes a mistake in life that they regret; in Dimmesdale’s case, he kept his sin hidden. Hawthorne uses various methods to depict Dimmesdale’s struggle to overcome the oppressive Puritan society and reveal his true identity. The laws, religion, and members of the community set high expectations for Dimmesdale to live up to. He is pressured to please his people and obey the rules of his society, but he knows that they will not accept who he really is. The community’s expectations cause Dimmesdale to punish himself for his sin instead of confessing.
Chillingworth continues to abuse and sin, despite knowing that murder and abuse are immense sins. Because he lived in a Puritan town and lived with a reverend, there is no way that he could remain ignorant about sin. He had to know that murder and abuse are morally and religiously wrong, yet he continues his actions. This behavior, "the hardening of the heart and willfully sinning against God and man" is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This blasphemy is unforgivable in the eyes of God, and Chillingworth will face eternal sin.
Dimmesdale is shown as being a secret sinner throughout the novel, but with the evil torturing that he receives from Chillingworth and himself it drives him to the point where he then becomes a public sinner. It is better for an individual to confess their sin than to bury it deep down. Dimmesdale, a Puritan minister, has had an affair (which he chose to do) with Chillingworth’s wife and he can’t come to the point where he can confess his sin to the public. Therefore, he is a secret sinner. By being this secret sinner Dimmesdale begins to physically and mentally break down.
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.
Unfortunately Arthur Dimmsedale, for he too has committed the same offence, is not strong enough to fight back against the malicious ignominy, which destroys his spiritual being. Dimmesdale permits his despair to drag him into a life so full of darkness, that it would take a miracle for him to see the light again. As for Chillingworth, he can only hope that his actions can be forgiven by those whose lives he has interfered with. All in all, every person must accept the fact that at one point or another, sin will come knocking on the front door. It is the choice of each individual either to permit that ignominy to teach and transform his life, or to allow it to destroy them.
Dimmesdale is guilty for committing adultery with Hester, his secret lover. His greatest fear is that the townspeople will find out about his sin. Dimmesdale does not confess his sin to the public because he believes that a reverend must act holy and can never sin. Therefore, he suffers through the guilt of his sin that he has to live with. He endures pain from Roger Chillingworth who tortures him.
While Hester flourishes into a servant of God, Dimmesdale struggles to confess throughout the novel. Dimmesdale's inability to confess his sin and accept punishment eventually leads to his downfall. Arthur Dimmesdale's inability to confess is strictly due to his fear of confrontation, thus characterizing him as a coward. The fact that Dimmesdale does not publicly acknowledge or reveal his sin only contributes in denouncing himself as well as his courage. His lack of a confession solely results in the loss of power, self-esteem, and dignity.