Dimmesdale’s Sin Essay, Research Paper

Dimmesdale is no exception. He was held above the rest, and this is proven in one of the first scenes of the

book. As Hester is above the townspeople on a scaffold, Dimmesdale, Governor Wilson, and others are still

above her. But, as the reader soon discovers, Arthur Dimmesdale is his own worst enemy. He hates himself and

must physically inflict pain upon himself. “He thus typified the constant introspection wherewith he tortured, but

could not purify, himself” to never forget what he has done (141). To Dimmesdale, it is bad that Hester is shown

publicly as a sinner, but people forget that. What is far worse than public shame is Dimmesdale’s own cruel inner

shame. Knowing what only he and Hester know, the secret eats away at every fiber of Dimmesdale’s being. As

the Puritans hold up Dimmesdale, the Romantics level him as a human. The Scarlet Letter is a myriad of

allegorical theories and philosophies. Ranging from Puritanic to Romantic, Nathaniel Hawthorne embodies his

ideas to stress his Romantic philosophies through Pearl, Hester, and Dimmesdale throughout all of this.

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