Theme Of Dimmesdale In The Scarlet Letter

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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. For example, Dimmesdale’s main problem in the novel is his conflict within. His remorse takes a toll on his life and transforms him into a feeble person. Keeping his…show more content…
Most readers overlook his admirable qualities and view him as hypocritical and weak. “For, Hester, his spirit lacked the strength that could have borne up, as thine has, beneath a burden like thy scarlet letter” (Hawthorne 188). Chillingworth is telling Hester that Dimmesdale lectures people about the repercussions of sins, however he cannot handle his own. “He is generally called a hypocrite, but though the life he lives is a lie, he is never quite that. Pride and fear combine to keep him from making a clean breast of things, and the best in him conspires with the worst to keep him silent” (Wagenknecht 67). It is presumed that an intelligent, powerful person, like Dimmesdale would behave a certain way since he lectures others to do the same. Considering he does not practice what he preaches readers may not have compassion for him. He does not have any desire to connect with his daughter, Pearl until the conclusion of the novel when he acknowledges her. “Pearl kissed his lips. A spell was broken. The great scene of grief, in which the wild infant bore a part had developed all her sympathies; and as her tears fell upon her father’s cheek, they were the pledge that she would grow up amid human joy and sorrow, nor for ever do battle with the world, but be a woman in it. Towards her mother, too, Pearl’s errand as a messenger of anguish was filled” (Hawthorne 282). His recognition makes Pearl feel complete. Dimmesdale confesses his sin directly before his death, but avoids paying the consequences afterward. It is difficult to have respect toward Reverend Dimmesdale, but at the end of the novel readers pity