Arthur Dimmesdale is a fictional character written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the 1850’s from the book, “The Scarlet Letter.” Arthur Dimmesdale went through great lengths of guilt and suffering throughout the book. He is a Puritan minister who had a child named Pearl, whose mother was Hester Prynne. They hide their relationship together in the years of Pearl growing up. Arthur Dimmesdale was the only Puritan out of four main characters in The Scarlet Letter. Dimmesdale knows that he has sinned in the very beginning of the novel, but kept all his feelings inside, letting the guilt overwhelm him until the end. When he committed adultery, he knew that what he did was wrong, but at the time he had only put his hand over his heart symbolizing that his sin pains him but only secretly. Dimmesdale believed that his sin and guilt has helped the sermons on Sunday and has helped him become a better minister. Although Arthur Dimmesdale knows he has sinned, he still refuses to confess to the church and accept his punishment. Dimmesdale went through a lot of suffering from holding his guilt in because he was not allowed to confess. He promised Hester that he shall not confess knowing the consequences of committing adultery with Hester, who was a married woman. Guilt took over his life to the point where the mental pain and the physical pain brought him to death.
In the beginning before the guilt overwhelmed him, Arthur Dimmesdale was a very pure minister who helped out his community the best that he could. Arthur Dimmesdale’s sin has made him believe that his ministry at the church has become better. Dimmesdale’s guilt has helped him become more in touch with his feelings which make his sermons more beli...
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...was going to confess his sin. Dimmesdale makes a very heartwarming testimony, and then rips open his shirt, revealing his scarred letter “A” on his chest in front of everyone. With this, Dimmesdale says his ending words, which are that he had always loved Hester and his death is the mercy of God waiting seven years for a confession.
Guilt is a complicated matter that can only be relieved by knowing and confessing what you did wrong. Dimmesdale was a good man, but died from the fault and disgrace eating away at him. He knew what he did was wrong, but would rather hurt himself, then let others do that for him. The “A” Dimmesdale whipped across his chest was a mark of shame across himself. Guilt did help Dimmesdale become more in touch with his feelings for his sermons, but it also lets him believe that he was a worthless creature and that he didn’t’t deserve to live.
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