The Character of Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter

The Character of Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter

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The Character of Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter

 
     Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, provides us with

intricate characters to analyze and evaluate.  Hawthorne carefully

constructs his characters, giving them each different emotions, values,

physical attributes, and thus creating different souls.  One sees character

development throughout the book, until at the end, one is left with an

image of a seemingly "real" person.  One of Hawthorne's carefully

constructed characters is, Arthur Dimmesdale.  With Arthur, one sees how

sin changes him dramatically, causing in him moral conflicts.  Dimmesdale

is continually trying to see who he is.

 

 

        In the beginning of Hawthorne's novel, we are introduced to Hester

Prynne, who has been condemned for adultery.  Through this sin, she has a

child named Pearl.  The bigger controversy though, is who is Hester's

"partner in crime."  But for seven years, Hester does not reveal it to

anyone, not even her husband, Roger Prynne, who comes to town the day she

is brought up on the scaffold.  Prynne is not happy about finding his wife

convicted of being an adulteress.  He feels that the other guilty party

should be up on the scaffold with her.  His deep want to find the guilty

party, leads him to disguise his identity, and he becomes, Roger

Chillingworth.  Hester agrees to keep his secret.  The novel takes us

through the seven years that Hester keeps quiet.  A reader of the novel

finds out early that Arthur Dimmesdale is the man Hester is trying to

protect.

 

 

        One notices, that even in the beginning, there is deep inner

conflict affecting Dimmesdale....


... middle of paper ...


...ter of Dimmesdale is excellently constructed

through the actions and words that Hawthorne writes.

 

 

Works Cited and Consulted

Brodhead, Richard H., "New and Old Tales: The Scarlet Letter," Modern Critical Views Nathaniel Hawthorne, New York, Chelsea House Publishers, 1986.

Dibble, Terry J., Cliff Notes on The Scarlet Letter, Lincoln, Cliff Notes, Inc., 1988.

Fogle, Richard Harter, "The Scarlet Letter," Hawthorne's Fiction The Light and The Dark, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1975.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. New York: St. Martins, 1991.

Matthiessen, F.O., "The Scarlet Letter," Critics on Hawthorne, Readings in Literary Criticism: 16, Coral Gables, University of Miami Press, 1972.

Matthiessen, F.O., Twentieth Century Interpretations of The Scarlet Letter, Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Halls Inc., 1968.

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