Thes Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne -- Arthur Dimmesdale

Essay by Dannyx0High School, 11th grade April 2005

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Contains some of the most interesting and lively characters I have read of. The author gives you the impression that these people were real, making you feel happy, angry, sad, or whatever the author wanted to get across. The one character that I choose to write about is Arthur Dimmesdale, and his name portrays his image in general.

A. Dimmesdale is a minister in the local church and preaches sermons regularly. He had an affair with Hester Prynne, and felt guilt and would not admit to his sin. In order to justify for what he has brought on to Hester and Pearl (his daughter), he decides to take punishment into his own hands and deteriorates his physical and spiritual condition. The author describes Dimmesdale's actions with a tone that reveals this self induced punishment as an evil ritual.

1. His Sin

a. He committed adultery.

2. Self-induced punishment.

b. It was a psychological punishment that he could not live with Hester. ("He to whom only the outward and physical evil is laid open knoweth, oftentimes, but half the evil which we look upon as a whole and entire within himself , may, after all, be but a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part" Pg 151, Par. 3)

c. It was a physical punishment that he whipped himself.

d. He refused to admit. ("'No!- not to thee!- not to and earthly physician!' cried Mr. Dimmesdale, passionately, and turning his eyes, full and bright, and with a kind of fierceness, on old Roger Chillingworth. 'Not to thee! But, if it be the soul's disease, then do I commit myself to be the one Physician of the soul! He, if it stands with this good pleasure, can cure; or he can...