Status Quo In Scarlet Letter
Her original husband resurfaces from the dead and remains obsessed with her with attempts of seizing custody of her daughter, Pearl. No one in the community is aware of his true identity except for Dimsdale and Hester, Chillingworth lives under a pseudonym within the community. The argument he posed had been considered heavily within the community leaders when brought to light. His argument posed that “her adultery upset order and somehow produced a damaged child” (Swisher 63). The child supposedly had not been raised appropriately and seems to be a complete heathen. Therefore her soul must be saved or else she will be damned to hell due to her misguidance. Furthermore, they remain persistent in humiliating Hester by mentioning that they are “of authority to distrust an immortal soul, such as Pearl’s, to the guidance of one who hath stumbled and fallen” (Hawthorne 109). To his disdain Hester is ready to defend her little Pearl to “the death” (Hawthorne 112) considering that the child is the sole treasure “Keeping her heart alive” (112) as well as her internal flame burning bright. Pearl saves Hester from her inner …show more content…
Reverend Dimsdale is obviously in Hester’s corner, highly suggesting that he is the father of Pearl. When Hester is defending her right to keep Pearl she reaches out for his help, “Thou knowest me better than these men can. Speak for me! Thou knowest what is on my heart! (Hawthorne 112). She pains him. Objectively she is his sin, despite the fact that he is in love with her and slowly replies “The sinful mother is happier than the sinful father” (Hawthorne 114) in hopes of allowing the pressure to be withdrawn from the custody battle presented by Chillingworth and the other Puritan leaders.
Despite the pressure subsiding within the custody battle, Dimsdale’s health continues to decline as his conscious rips him apart. Unlike Hester he had not been given the opportunity to confess and to be punished, therefore he lived in a deplorable world of secret sin. His sickness is caused by a “strange reserve”(Hawthorne 124) as noted by Chillingworth. In the end, Dimsdale, Hester’s lover, dies a broken man consumed by his conscious as well as the sorrow of secret