Dimmesdale's Guilt In The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter is a book written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The book is about a young woman named Hester Prynne, who has recently moved from England to America. The plan was for her to go on ahead while her husband stayed for a little while and got their affairs in order. After not hearing from or of him for a long time she assumed that he had either stayed in England or perished at sea and decided to move on with her life. She developed a secret relationship with a young reverend Dimmesdale and had his child. She was labeled promiscuous by the community and was forced to wear a red letter “A” for adultery stitched into all of her clothes. …show more content…
There are actually two more, one scared into Reverend Dimmesdale 's chest due to self inflicted punishment for the affair with Hester and letting her take all the blame and one on the ex-lover 's gravestone at the end of the book. Dimmesdale felt sorry for what he did and letting Hester take all the blame while he stood back and watched while the town wondered who “da baby-daddy” was. He didn 't want to face the town and admit his wrongdoing but instead took it upon himself to inflict the punishment. The scarlet letter on Dimmesdale 's chest is a symbol of his guilt and weakness. It is also a symbol of the deterioration that his body is going through, as if the guilt is literally eating away at him. He keeps the scar on his chest hidden throughout most of the novel and finally decides to man up and take responsibility for what he did at the end of the book when he stands on the scaffold in the middle of town with Hester and Pearl and reveals the scar to everyone and publicly admitting that he was Pearl 's father and Hester 's lover. I feel that this action somewhat redeemed Dimmesdale 's appeal to the reader even though he only did it because he Chillingsworth foiled Hester and Dimmesdale 's plan to flee Boston and return to Europe and because he knew he was going to die soon and wanted to redeem himself in the eyes of God. The other scarlet letter that appeared in the novel was the one etched into Hester and Dimmesdale 's gravestone. I feel that this scarlet letter was supposed to represent the severity of their actions and that they cannot escape the consequences even in death, however, it failed in this aspect and instead symbolized the unity of the young couple and the love they shared and how even though Hester was the only one punished by the court, she did not suffer

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