Why Do People Hate Arthur Dimmesdale?

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There are characters whom we admire without restraint; those who we wish to be and strive to emulate. Some are fictional, like the heroic King Arthur. Others are real persons who are now thought to be influential figures in history, such as Winston Churchill or Joan of Arc. The people that we esteem often hold characteristics that we ourselves lack, hence why many aspire to be like them. Contrastingly, characters we tend to dislike are regularly the embodiment of the worst traits. Peradventure we loathe such characters so much because their downfalls are strikingly similar to our own, and so they are the personification of our own failures. Thus is the case with one such Arthur Dimmesdale, the notorious reverend from Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter. In the beginning of the classic novel, the Reverend Dimmesdale does not leave much memorable impression: he is described as young, loved, and sickly-looking preacher in Sale's puritan community. Certainly no …show more content…
Certainly, his action can prove exasperating, but that should not elicit such strong emotions towards him. I theorize that it is because readers subconsciously project themselves on Arthur's character. In today's society, fear of rejection is a strong sensation. Nobody wishes to be the singled-out figure left to be shamed. It stems from lack of hope of being forgiven, leading people to lie and cheat in order to cover up past mistakes to avoid the need for forgiveness. When readers see Dimmesdale stuck in his endless cycle of lies, they are seeing themselves, trapped in their own hole of untruths they dug. Readers want Dimmesdale to break his pattern sooner rather than later, because they recognize how much harder it will be to climb out of the hole the deeper it grows. From another viewpoint, readers empathize with Dimmesdale's want to speak what is right while being too afraid of reputation to do

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