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Theme Of Duality In The Scarlet Letter

The Scarlet Letter presents duality amongst all of the characters. Hugo Mcpherson stated, “Hawthorne’s rejection of the Calvinist view of human nature, however, does not lead him to espouse the cause of man’s “natural goodness,” the Transcendental view. For him there is an ideal, perfect realm, and an imperfect, human realm. Human nature is inevitably imperfect. But the fatal error of the Puritans is their failure to recognize all of man’s gifts – to achieve an integration of all of man’s forces. The Puritan life is a half-life, and it outcome is likely to be tragic.” Mcpherson refers to the “half-life” of the Puritans in failing to recognize both good and bad sides of human nature, which stands true in the novel. Many characters in The…show more content…
It becomes known to the reader that Dimmesdale is ill and that is due to fact that he is guilty of being Hester’s lover and Pearl’s father. Hawthorne reveals Dimmesdale’s bad nature after the revealing of his own sins. For example, Hawthorne wrote, “Mr. Dimmesdale was overcome with a great horror of mind, as if the universe were gazing at a scarlet token on his naked breast, right over his heart. On that spot, in very truth, there was, and there had long been, the gnawing and poisonous tooth of bodily pain.” Dimmesdale’s guilt is manifesting into physical pain, but he won’t end his pain by revealing his sins, he will only let it fester within him even more until it completely destroys him. Hawthorne shows this manifestation in Dimmesdale when he writes: “His nerve seemed absolutely destroyed. His moral force was abased into more than childish weakness. It grovelled helpless on the ground, even while his intellectual faculties retained their pristine strength, or had perhaps acquired a morbid energy, which disease only could have given…show more content…
He realizes that he must look within himself for the strength to overcome his staggering guilt when Chillingworth catches on to his plans to go to Europe with Hester and Pearl. With this knowledge, he preaches his last sermon. He comes forth with such confidence and swagger that Pearl and Hester do not recognize this man. Dimmesdale’s speech was very powerful in the way that he connected directly with Hester when speaking. For example, Hawthorne wrote, “Hester Prynne listened with such intenseness, and sympathized so intimately, that the sermon had throughout a meaning for her, entirely apart from its indistinguishable words.” Hester felt Dimmesdale good when subtly addressing her during the speech. In this sermon, Dimmesdale is somewhat redeeming himself. He knows of his bad nature all too well, and he feels when he is speaking that he can alleviate his guilt by helping others. At the end of the sermon, Dimmesdale reveals his sins on the platform for all of the Puritan society to know whilst holding Pearls hand. In the end, he reveals although there may be some evil in him, he is good at heart. Now, after a tragic demise Dimmesdale lies with his heavenly god knowing the full knowledge of what it is to live a “half-life” in the Puritan
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