Analysis Of ' The Scarlet Letter ' By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1542 Words Apr 1st, 2016 7 Pages
Everyone has been taken advantage of by someone they trust at some point in their lives, even if they don’t realize it. On its surface, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic, The Scarlet Letter, appears to be about two people, a woman and her minister, who succumb to their passion and live with the backlash and shame for the rest of their lives. Kenneth D. Pimple’s article, “‘Subtle, but Remorseful Hypocrite’: Dimmesdale’s Moral Character,” introduces a new perspective, however; Arthur Dimmesdale manipulates everyone around him. Additionally, George K. Simon’s book, In Sheep 's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People, provides some background for explaining Pimple’s argument on manipulation. I intend to use both works to show how Arthur Dimmesdale plays with words through doubletalk and pragmatics and uses sneaky tactics to make others think and act the way he wants.
Even in his first appearance, Dimmesdale uses doubletalk. While Hester is on the scaffold, he says, trying to convince her to tell who her ‘partner-in-crime’ is:

“Be not silent from any mistaken pity and tenderness for him; for, believe me, Hester, though he were to step down from a high place, and stand there beside thee, on thy pedestal of shame, yet better were it so, than to hide a guilty heart through life. What can thy silence do for him, except it tempt him--yea, compel him, as it were--to add hypocrisy to sin? Heaven hath granted thee an open ignominy, that thereby thou mayest work out an…

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