Essay about Dimmesdale and The Scarlet Letter

Submitted By CrazyCalves
Words: 1728
Pages: 7

Dimmesdale and The Scarlet Letter

How would you react if you did something with a passion even when it was against your society’s and religious views? In the novel The Scarlet Letter, that very thing happened. The setting is in an old Puritanical Boston, where a woman by the name of Hester Prynne was found to be pregnant and bear a child while her husband was away. It was a great sin in the community and they scolded her and threw her in jail. The priest at the time was a man named Arthur Dimmesdale, who is later found out to be the father. Lastly, a physician who just entered the town with no background named Roger Chillingworth (not his real name), is found out to be Hester’s actual husband and seeks revenge on the father of the child, who was named Pearl. He doesn’t wish to cause pain to Hester though, who is the only one who knows of his actual identity at this point. Dimmesdale would be the most important character in the novel because of his sense of morality and his internal struggles. He is the priest who also has a big sin in his life, which is falling in love with Hester Prynne and creating a child with her. Also, he would injure and torture himself because of a great guilt he was feeling. Lastly, his final moments, including his death, were very significant in the fact that they created unrest in the town and possibly some clarification to the reader.

Dimmesdale falls in love with Hester Prynne and produces a child. He has a lot of conflict in himself considering it was against the churches views as seen by how they treat Hester. He has too much confliction within himself too, so he can’t admit it either. Examples from the text include when Dimmesdale is practically begging Hester to reveal who the father is. He loves her because he makes the case to the governor that she would make a good example to her daughter Pearl and that he should let Hester keep her. In the governor’s court, he, Dimmesdale and another reverand are judging whether or not hester should keep her child or not. They start to make a case that she shouldn’t be allowed to, and eventually are about to come to say that decision when hester starts to beg that Dimmesdale help her out by making a better case for her. That is when he speaks up and ends up convincing the court that she should keep and raise the child. “There is truth in what she says,” began the minister, with a voice sweet, tremulous, but powerful, insomuch that the hall re-echoed and the hollow armour rang with it-“truth in what Hester says, and in the feeling which inspires her! God gave her the child, and gave her, too, and an instinctive knowledge of its nature and requirements…” This quote is talking about how after the governor and the other reverend were about to come to the decision that Hester isn’t fit to be the mother and how she is deceived that the child wasn’t a gift, Dimmesdale is pleaded to by Hester to give her a better case, and that’s what he gives her. He says that the child is in fact a gift from god, and later goes on to say that this can help her straighten up her life. This quote is talking about how after the governor and the other reverend were about to come to the decision that Hester isn’t fit to be the mother and how she is deceived that the child wasn’t a gift, Dimmesdale is pleaded to by Hester to give her a better case, and that’s what he gives her. He says that the child is in fact a gift from god, and later goes on to say that this can help her straighten up her life.

Dimmesdale’s struggle with his passion and duty shows greatly when he gets to the point where he inflicts physical and mental injury to himself, which ends up screwing him up for the rest of the novel. Examples from the text include when we find out that he hasn’t let go the fact that his sin isn’t forgiven and that he needs to be punished. He goes into the closet and whips himself on the back, he fasts, and he has either branded or carved a “s” onto his chest where…