Journal Number Two; Prompt Three
In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Dimmesdale has a great fear that the towns people will find of his sin of adultery with Hester Prynne. Dimmesdale believes that his soul could not take the disclosure as he is such an important figure in society. Furthermore by not confessing his sin to the public he becomes overwhelmed with guilt that is exacerbated by the torture of Roger Chillingworth. Although he continuously chooses guilt over shame, Dimmesdale goes through a much more painful experience than Hester; who had endured the public shame of the Scarlet Letter. When Roger Chillingworth is introduced into the story he is standing there watching Hester on the scaffold and wishes that the father could be on the scaffold with her; “It irks me, nevertheless, that the partner of her iniquity should not, at least, stand on the scaffold by her side” (46). Chillingworth is wishing the same punishment and shame upon him that Hester is undergoing. Throughout the first few chapters of the novel Chillingworth's plan becomes more malicious. If Dimmesdale had chosen to admit to his sin he would not have to undergo the guilt and torture of Chillingworth.
The scarlet letter A that Hester must wear on her chest takes up a couple different meanings throughout the novel and its meaning is very dynamic. At the beginning of the novel the Scarlet Letter symbolizes sin; the sin of adultery. She