Reverend Dimmesdale 's The Scarlet Letter Essays

924 Words Aug 16th, 2014 4 Pages
Reverend Dimmesdale, in the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is seen throughout the book as weak, both morally and physically. He is introduced standing above Hester Prynne asking her to reveal the father of her child, but curiously after she refuses to, one gets the impression he is relived about her answer. Throughout the book, it is reveled Dimmesdale is Hester’s partner in their crime, and the father of Pearl. He, unlike Hester, is not subject to the public humiliation, but instead continues to preach to the very people who consider Hester a sinner. This causes Dimmesdale to continually doubt himself, and to wonder and eventually wish that people knew he was a sinner and a fraud. At the same time, we see him become weaker physically. Dimmesdale’s internal conflict is clearly self-destructive, physically and mentally.
“The young minister at once came forward, pale, and holding his hand over his heart as was his custom whenever his peculiarly nervous temperament was thrown into agitation” (116, Chapter 8). “But the frown of this pale, weak, sinful and sorrow-stricken man was what Hester could not bear and live!” (205, Chapter 17). Both of these quotes show the physical symptoms Dimmesdale suffers from, and in both they loosely refer to his temperament as the cause. The first states he becomes pale and holds his hand over his heart when he is agitated, suggesting his state of mind is at least partially the cause, and the second describes him as pale,…

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