Most ministers of Dimmesdale’s time used practices such as fasting, studying the Bible and keeping nightly vigils to cleanse themselves in order to make themselves more fit to teach holy practices. Dimmesdale took those same practices and used them as a punishment for his sinful behavior. The narrator of The Scarlet Letter writes of the dwindling health of the minister on page 91 of the book. He tells us that, “... the health of Mr. Dimmesdale had evidently begun to fail. By those best acquainted with his habits, the paleness of the young ...
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...mbodiment of the devil himself because of his evil, knifing ways.
In summary, I believe that Arthur Dimmesdale suffers the most out of the three main characters of The Scarlet Letter. He brings a great deal of the suffering upon himself by keeping his feelings locked inside of himself, fasting, studying unceasingly, and holding frequent night- long vigils. Also, the public has something to do with much of his distress, as well. They praise and worship him like a God among them, but this just reminds him that he is everything but holy. Furthermore, a large contributing factor to his misery is his constant and unwelcome companion, Roger Chillingworth. Chillingworth follows him, suffocates him and torments him by trying to get the minister to reveal all of his deep- hidden secrets.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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