Mr Dimmesdale In Scarlet Letter

Words: 985
Pages: 4

In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, the minister, Mr. Dimmesdale, is a well-respected man that the townspeople look to for advice. As a clergyman, the people believe that he is pure and holy. However, he has committed adultery with one woman, Hester Prynne. While Hester suffers and endures the punishment that the town places on her, Dimmesdale never reveals that he was her counterpart in their sin until right after he gives his last sermon. Dimmesdale, who seems to be an honorable man, is selfish for keeping his secret in order to protect his position. Before Dimmesdale delivers his sermon, his vulnerable and greedy side can be seen. Although Dimmesdale seems to be heroic, he is actually selfish and weak.
Dimmesdale’s selfish personality becomes evident in this passage. After
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Essentially, he is misleading the people, who think that he is a pure man, in order to preserve what he can of his reputation. Even though on the outside this may seem like an “honorable epoch” for Dimmesdale, he is actually being cowardly for not revealing his secret. While it can be argued that Dimmesdale is doing this in order to not disappoint the people and God, hiding his secret is as bad as committing another sin. After eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve hide from God because they are scared of His judgment. Likewise, the narrator describes Dimmesdale as “pitiably weak” (197). Perhaps Dimmesdale’s weakness and fear account for his selfishness and reluctance to tell the truth. It is because of this that he needs to leave “no public duty unperformed, nor ill performed” (197). If Dimmesdale were truly a good man, he would admit his sins to his congregation. However, Dimmesdale feels the need to complete his last sermon, the most important sermon in his career, before he is ready to reveal his secret. The narrator also refers to Dimmesdale as an “exemplary man” (197). At first, the narrator may appear to be praising Dimmesdale, but there is irony