Essay on character changes in the Scarlet Letter Approx: 2.5 pages

Essay by miketendo66High School, 11th gradeA+, March 2004

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

The Scarlet Letter written by Nathaniel Hawthorne shows how character changes over the course of the novel relate to the novel's themes. A character who goes through significant change in The Scarlet Letter is the minister, Arthur Dimmesdale. Dimmesdale's actions in the novel support the themes of fear and secrecy .

Arthur Dimmesdale's biggest sin was committing adultery with Hester Prynne. This made him the father of Pearl, Hester's daughter. Although, for seven years he has been too afraid to reveal his sin openly. This act of adultery is what Dimmesdale himself had vowed to keep secret until his judgement day. Dimmesdale feared the punishments for his sin, and did not want people to judge him for his wrongdoing like Hester had been.

Dimmesdale must also keep his secret form Roger Chillingworth, the husband of Hester. Chillingworth suspects Dimmesdale as Pearl's father but is not able to prove this right away.

Chillingworth arrives in town to appear as a physician sent to aid Dimmesdale. He lives with Dimmesdale pretending to be his physician but his true intentions are to learn Dimmesdale's secrets and plot against him. Chillingworth is seen by others as an agent of Satan sent to destroy Dimmesdale.

Dimmesdale goes through changes as a result of living with Chillingworth. Dimmesdale is described as looking paler and thinner each week at his sermons. This change in appearance is a result of the torment Dimmesdale is experiencing. He is torturing himself because of his wrongdoing. Dimmesdale is becoming physically and mentally weaker from his self-torture. His congregation begins to like him more once they see the torture he is going through. This is because the people see him as an equal to them and not as the minister that he is. This acceptance is urging Dimmesdale to...