The Downfall of Arthur Dimmesdale in The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay

The Downfall of Arthur Dimmesdale in The Crucible by Arthur Miller Essay

Length: 1016 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Downfall of Arthur Dimmesdale in The Crucible by Arthur Miller

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the cause of tragedy is centered upon the rigid Puritan society that leads to great consequences in the lives of sinners. Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale's act of adultery greatly affects their lives and its result greatly alters their presence in the community. Hester handles her situation with as much dignity and pride as possible, confessing and bearing the punishments amiably. Dimmesdale, on the other hand, acts in a different and cowardly manner, as he is unable to confess his sin and accept society's and God's punishment. 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. His great lack of inner strength is easily grasped due to the lies he preaches every week for seven painful years about truth and in the manner in which he avoids confrontation. He spreads the word of holiness and goodness, yet he himself does not abide these simple laws of the Puritan lifestyle. The minister can only extol Hester when she refuses to reveal him as the father by expressing "the wondrous strength and generosity of a woman's heart!"(69), rather than confess his own half of the sin. He can only praise a woman who has more strength and pow...


... middle of paper ...


...e afflicted"(111). The scarlet letter, or society's punishment, has made her a better servant of God than she has ever been. Hester's life has been redirected, and she was able to select the path of righteousness and appears able to eventually reach salvation, thanks to her abiding by society's punishment. Dimmesdale, on the other hand, avoids society, and hence avoids God. Dimmesdale never confesses and takes punishment into his own hands. Hawthorne portrays that had Dimmesdale gone to society, or God's representative on earth, he would have received an appropriate punishment and not suffered. Instead, Dimmesdale struggles to his death, and while he does eventually confess, it is too late, and Dimmesdale dooms himself. We are not sure what happens to Dimmesdale, but had he chosen society's punishment over his own, he would have surely been headed towards salvation.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Play: The Crucible, by Arthur Miller Essay

- Buddha once said, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” Buddha states that the truth is one of the things that cannot be overlooked as the truth is eventually revealed, and the truth might end up having bad effects. Buddha’s quote is significantly true in the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller which discusses the Joseph McCarthy era. Miller shows that McCarthy manipulated and abused his power and fame, leading to his downfall. In The Crucible, Miller uses parallelism between Judge Danforth and Joseph McCarthy to accentuate the horrific, unlawful, and untrustworthy complications that they brought to the United States in the 1690's and the 1950's....   [tags: Analysis, Parallelism, Downfall]

Good Essays
1197 words (3.4 pages)

Archetypes in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible Essay

- When analyzing literature from an archetypal perspective, one does not simply look at the character’s behavior in that literary piece. Rather, when using the archetypal theory, one connects the traits and actions of the characters in the literary work, the settings, the surroundings, and the situations to a familiar type of literary character. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the characters Abigail Williams, John Proctor, and Reverend Hale exhibit common archetypal behavior and fit into a certain archetypal figure....   [tags: literary analysis, Arthur Miller]

Good Essays
1582 words (4.5 pages)

Mccarthyism And The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay

- Niam Mohseni Ms. Sussman English 2 October 26, 2014 McCarthyism and The Crucible Events have played out in history that made people realize the inhumane acts of people and the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy era were two of them. The Salem witch trials in 1692 were almost 260 years before the McCarthy “witch hunts” in the 1950s yet there are similarities between them. The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller in 1953, is about the Salem witch trials and is an allegory to the practicing of McCarthyism during the Second Red Scare in the United States, which Miller was a victim of....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, McCarthyism]

Good Essays
968 words (2.8 pages)

John Proctor's Lack of Commitment to Humanity in Arthur Miller's The Crucible

- John Proctor's Lack of Commitment to Humanity in Arthur Miller's The Crucible No person can completely steer clear of the trials and tribulations of his or her society. He who does may be vulnerable to serious allegations. If a man is to work well in his surroundings, he must partake in all aspects of his society or he is leaving himself open to unfavorable charges. In Arthur Miller's, The Crucible, John Proctor's lack of involvement in the Salem witch trials ultimately leads to his execution. John Proctor tries to avoid any involvement in the Salem witch trials....   [tags: The Crucible by Arthur Miller]

Free Essays
594 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on The Crucible By Arthur Miller

- The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, was not highly accepted at the time of it’s release, in 1952. The book itself is an allegory and was not intended to teach and inform about the Salem witch trials. It is, in fact, about Mccarthy and the people during this time, but to keep it hidden, he used the comparison of the two events. Hysteria, power and greed are what drove the people of Salem to false accusations of the innocent puritan people. People like Abigail, Putnam and Danforth blew the accusations out of the water with the power that was given to them by the provence....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, Witchcraft]

Good Essays
1086 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about The Crucible By Arthur Miller

- Austere religions with black and white definitions for right and wrong are bound to result in the deception of a suppressed people. With the cornerstone of Puritan lifestyle being the church, their community is profoundly influenced by religious philosophy and beliefs. Anything believed to be a contradiction of their religious moral code is deemed to be sin, and directly connected to the devil. Devil worship and witchcraft is conjured by means of fear that gives superstition power, and those accused of unnatural behavior receive harsh castigation....   [tags: Salem witch trials, Puritan, The Crucible]

Good Essays
1450 words (4.1 pages)

The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay

- Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is an intricate piece of literature. He assembled this literary labyrinth using precision. One example of his twisted methods is his use of the word, “crucible”, in his text. What does the word, “crucible”, mean. This word has five definitions, and Arthur Miller has managed to bring all five of them into play in The Crucible. One definition of the word, “crucible”, is “The light placed in front of The Crucifix”. This definition, unlike the others, is used in a largely abstract way in the text....   [tags: Salem witch trials, The Crucible, John Proctor]

Good Essays
1146 words (3.3 pages)

Arthur Miller 's The Crucible Essay

- Every character in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible had their fair share of sins throughout the play. There is betrayal, lechery, lying, death, and cowardice. Arthur Miller displays elements of mass hysteria through the town’s large number of accusations. Even though a person knows they are not guilty when or if they are accused, they still get worried. People act differently independently versus in a group because in a group they can accuse another person or say that someone else is to blame. If someone is alone they have no where to hide....   [tags: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, John Proctor]

Good Essays
969 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Arthur Miller 's The Crucible

- Some literary analysist may consider the character, John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, a tragic hero; however, his behaviors presented in the play represent an adulterer, a liar, and someone who has selfish qualities. John Proctor makes decisions that create destruction and hurt in which results to chaos. Although he does suffer from his actions throughout the play he never learns that the truth is the best route. He does display both internal and external conflicts which does finally produce a man of honor....   [tags: The Crucible, Salem witch trials, John Proctor]

Good Essays
913 words (2.6 pages)

Arthur Miller's The Crucible Essay

- Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible' The Crucible, written by Arthur Miller, is a tragic story of injustice suffered by an innocent community who are subjected to the hypocritical, prideful judges of their trial. These Judges use their power to eliminate evidence of their mistakes and return their community to puritanical ways. The leaders of Salem are not concerned with seeking the truth and justice, but with maintaining their authority and reputations; this objective leads them to consistently rejecting truth, against all logic and evidence of their senses....   [tags: Essay on The Crucible]

Good Essays
667 words (1.9 pages)