The Greatest Sinner

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The greatest sinner in The Scarlet Letter is the reverend Arthur Dimmesdale who committed adultery with Hester Prynne. In the book The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is forced to wear a red letter in the shape of an “A” because she committed the crime of adultery. However, throughout the novel Hester went through the ordeal alone while the reverend Arthur Dimmesdale may have suffered as well, but not to the extent that Hester suffered. In the Scarlet Letter, there are three reasons why I believe the greatest sinner (or at least one of the greatest sinners) was Arthur Dimmesdale: Whether Arthur knew of Hester being married or not in the beginning is irrelevant; he knew she was married when she stood on the scaffold with the entire community staring at her with wicked eyes while she was being charged with the crime of adultery. Arthur Dimmesdale stood by and watched as Hester was being asked to reveal who she had the affair with but did not come forth and announce that it was he whom had the affair with Hester. Next, Dimmesdale knew he had a child in Pearl but didn't take care of his child because he was afraid of getting caught. Lastly, Dimmesdale brought turmoil into the lives of both Hester and her daughter Pearl. In the end, reverend Arthur Dimmesdale committed sins of sitting by watching someone else get punished for a crime he participated in, fathered a child but didn't take care of his child, and ruining the lives of two people that he was suppose to care for.
Arthur Dimmesdale may not of known that Hester was married, but he did know while she was standing upon the scaffold being scolded about committing sins that he too committed. Throughout the novel, Dimmesdale continued to let Hester take all of the punishment of their ...

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...d was forced to watch her child grow up as a symbol of her mother's sin instead of just a normal child.
In my conclusion, Arthur Dimmesdale is the greatest sinner. Arthur Dimmesdale committed more sins than any other character in the Scarlet Letter. The sins he committed were as follows: Dimmesdale let Hester Prynne take the full burden and punishment of their sins alone; he abandoned his illegitimate child and never cared for her out of fear; and he brought great turmoil into Hester's life as well as Pearl's life. Although Dimmesdale did come clean at the end before his death, he should have come clean in the beginning. Everyone commits sins; if you did not commit any sins then you would be perfect. But what judges you as a character is whether or not your willing to pay the price for those sins, and Arthur Dimmesdale did pay the price of his life at the end.
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