"The Scarlett Letter" Analysis

Essay by jblnickHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2006

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They're like ghosts haunting you, your every action, and every decision. They haunt you and eat away at you soul. What are they? They're secrets. Not just your ordinary everyday ones but huge, humiliating, disgraceful, and sinful secrets. They are so shameful they put a brand on you for everyone to see but for no one to know why. We all have our secrets, much like the highly respected Reverend Dimmesdale and Hester had theirs, of the passion between them. Hester redeems herself of her sin by being truthful and blunt to everyone who was to look upon her blazing scarlet letter. But Dimmesdale is put through horrible anguish lieing to his followers and even to himself. Just as the moral of the story suggests " 'Be true! Be true! Show freely to the world' " (pg254), Although Dimmesdale was not true to himself, ironically the shameful sinner Hester Prynne was.

Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale is a man of high respect in this poor puritan town of Salem. He lives for his God and just as well would gladly die for him. Dimmesdale young but very wise man is caring and generously empathetic to his fellow man. What causes his anguish and torment is by the way the town holds him of such high respect but yet has none for himself because of the lie he lives with: "It is inconceivable, the agony with which this public veneration tortured him!" (pg139). How could a person not be torturing themselves by not living up to their duty? Dimmesdale is supposed to be someone who the people could model themselves after, but he's just playing a charade by preaching about the evils of sin when really a sinner is what Dimmesdale is: " 'I, your pastor, whom you so reverence and trust,