The Suffering Pastor Analysis

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The Suffering Pastor

Pastor Dimmesdale plays a very key role in the story. He is admired by the whole town and he is known to everyone as a man crafted by god’s hand. What is unknown to them until the end of the story is that he bears a secret shame. He is the father to Pearl that has been kept a secret throughout the novel and the guilt that he feels for the sin is slowly killing him with the help of the Physician, Roger Chillingworth, and his ever prying eyes. Some may say that he is a hypocrit, but as Edward Wagenknecht says in “Characters in the Scarlet Letter”, “He is never quite that. Pride and fear combine to keep him from making a clean breast of things, and the best in him conspires with the worst to keep him silent.” This is saying
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He has done awful things to himself to try to repent for his sins, “under lock and key, there was a bloody scourge. Often times this Protestant and Puritan Divine had plied in on his own shoulders”. “He kept vigils, likewise, night after night, sometimes in utter darkeness”. The book also describes fasting that he did, not to purify the body, but such harsh fasting that “his knees trembled beneth him” -The Scarlet Letter. Despite going through all of this the Pastor says to Hester that “I have plenty of Penance but no Pentinence”- The Scarlet Letter, meaning that he has had plenty of punishment but does not mean anything because he does not feel guilty for what he did. His problems were all solved at once when he acended the scaffold, professed his guilt and then died without hanging on to the lie. Dimmesdale also experiances some dramatic changes in the novel. Throughout the book his house slowly becomes more of a tourture chamber than a home. The physician Roger Chillingworth which is a source of his suffering is living there with him because the townspeople think that it is a good idea to keep the minister in good health which is actually doing quite the opposite. According to Malcom Cowley in “Five Acts of the Scarlet Letter”, “While the meteor is still glowing, Chillingworth appears to lead the minister back to his torture chamber.” Refering to Chillingworth …show more content…
Not many people know what its like to be that important in their community and even less know what its like to be holding a secret that goes against their position. What also makes it difficult is that he lives in a Puritan society where they were discriminatory and had severe punishments for things that are common in our society. It also is possible to empathize with him on certain platforms. He has a person in his life that he has strong feelings for but cannot let it be known, this happens a lot to people today. He is around someone constantly that causes him suffering which is a common occurance in todays world. Finally he has a secret that he is literally guarding with his life which is something that I believe everyone has done at one point or

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