Hypocrisy In Scarlet Letter

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Hypocrisy often taints the souls of many people , who are presented with dilemmas, clouding their intentions and actions with hints of ignorance and self-deception. Many people possess the qualities of false profession, some without even knowing it. Whether one is aware of their hypocrisy , it is still something that tells a lot about that person. In The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale allows his weakness to society to overpower his ability to avoid falling into the abyss of hypocrisy when he is faced with the predicament of dealing with his sin of committing adultery alongside Hester Prynne. Dimmesdale embodies the concept of hypocrisy on many occasions throughout The Scarlet Letter, representing how Puritan ideals as a whole were …show more content…
He tells the physician, “Or,--can we not suppose it?--guilty as they may be, retaining, nevertheless, a zeal for God 's glory and man 's welfare, they shrink from displaying themselves black and filthy in the view of men; because, thenceforward, no good can be achieved by them; no evil of the past be redeemed by better service”(122). This quote explains to the audience the pastor’s reasoning as to why he keeps his secret locked away in his mind, suffering greatly from inner anguish. He loves his community, and he feels as if confessing won’t allow him to guide the town anymore , but in reality, this sin is hindering his ability to aid his fellow townspeople. Even though Dimmesdale thinks that this is the best way, his intentions reek with hypocrisy because he knows that because he is carrying this sin, he is unable to do much for his congregation spiritually; it is a distraction that is consuming his entire life, leaving no time for his calling as a minister. His …show more content…
Moreover, the entire Puritan society were hypocritical, seeing as they were extremely religious people yet sinned all the time. A significant example of how the Puritans were superficial not only as individuals, but as a group, too, is after Dimmesdale is dead and has finally confessed his sin to everyone. The author writes that “Neither, by their, report, had his dying words acknowledged , nor even remotely implied, any, the slightest connection, on his part, with the guilt for which Hester Prynne had so long worn the scarlet letter”(245). This quote exemplifies how the Puritans held double standards regarding how they treated those who sinned. Dimmesdale made it apparent to the entire town that he sinned alongside Hester when he spoke his final words; ”May god forgive thee. Thou, hast deeply sinned”(242). By saying this he told them that Dimmesdale made it clear that he was equal to Hester because he too committed adultery. However, that’s not how the town sees it. They uphold Hester to a different standard and some even refuse to believe that these words had no relation to his sin and that they were just another ones of his incredible sermons that he was known for giving. Demonstrating blatant double standards, they only judge Hester so harshly and not Dimmesdale because he is in possession of more power, being the pastor of an exceedingly religious town, whereas Hester is

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