Hawthorne portrays Reverend Dimmesdale as a god-like figure throughout the whole novel, but he is only seen as this to the public. He is personified as “human frailty and sorrow”, and is often associated with being young, pale, and delicate. This seemingly feminine description of the reverend emphasizes his perfection that many thought of him as, and he was also known to be the most eligible bachelor in the town. All of these initial connotations of him lead to the reader to also see him as the embodiment of all things good, yet Hawthorne takes this idea to juxtapose it with the internal issues that Dimmesdale faces. Against this idea of his perfectness, he faced internal guilt and sorrow that completely contradicted the positive associations made with him in the beginning of the novel...
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... as helpful, this is paradoxically not the case as Chillingworth is doing much more bad than good.
To the public, the pair that was Roger Chillingworth and Arthur Dimmesdale seemed to be happy and that they worked together well, but the reality of the situation was that both men privately faced their own demons on a daily basis. Dimmesdale embodied the perfect Puritan man as a reverend and a man who helped all in the community, and Chillingworth was thought of so highly for helping such a well-cherished man. But behind closed doors, the situation was much the opposite as Dimmesdale faced daily the guilt of being an adulterer, and Chillingworth failed to be helpful, succeeding only in further harming Dimmesdale’s sanity and well-being. As Hawthorne portrays this contradictory relationship, he further displays that private demons can be just as painful as public ones.
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