Preview
Preview

The Suffering of Arthur Dimmesdale in "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

:: 2 Works Cited
Length: 994 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Guilt is a very strong emotion, and it can take a merciless toll on a person. For most people, guilt is often a short-lived feeling because we confess why we feel guilty and get it off of our chests. However, this is hardly the case for Arthur Dimmesdale, the father of Hester Prynne’s child in the novel The Scarlet Letter. Dimmesdale does not confess that he has committed a sin with Hester, and for a brutal seven whole years, he withholds his guilt inside of him. Throughout all of that time, he reverts to self-punishment in the form of fasting, consecutive, sleepless vigils, and relentless studying of the Bible. The public viewed all of these activities as noble acts of devotion to God, and they only admired him more and more. This public veneration just made him feel like he was even more of a horrible person and that his whole life was based upon a lie. Also, Dimmesdale was faced to live with and be tormented by not only his overwhelming guilt of sin, but was moreover forced to live with Hester’s husband, Roger Chillingworth, who plagued him almost as much as his own conscience. These are all reasons why I believe that Dimmesdale suffers most out of any main character in this novel.
Most ministers of Dimmesdale’s time used practices such as fasting, studying the Bible and keeping nightly vigils to cleanse themselves in order to make themselves more fit to teach holy practices. Dimmesdale took those same practices and used them as a punishment for his sinful behavior. The narrator of The Scarlet Letter writes of the dwindling health of the minister on page 91 of the book. He tells us that, “... the health of Mr. Dimmesdale had evidently begun to fail. By those best acquainted with his habits, the paleness of the young ...


... middle of paper ...


...mbodiment of the devil himself because of his evil, knifing ways.

In summary, I believe that Arthur Dimmesdale suffers the most out of the three main characters of The Scarlet Letter. He brings a great deal of the suffering upon himself by keeping his feelings locked inside of himself, fasting, studying unceasingly, and holding frequent night- long vigils. Also, the public has something to do with much of his distress, as well. They praise and worship him like a God among them, but this just reminds him that he is everything but holy. Furthermore, a large contributing factor to his misery is his constant and unwelcome companion, Roger Chillingworth. Chillingworth follows him, suffocates him and torments him by trying to get the minister to reveal all of his deep- hidden secrets.


Works Cited
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
sparknotes.com


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Mr. Dimmesdale's Feelings of Guilt and Shame in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s "The Scarlet Letter" - Guilt, shame, and penitence are just a few of the emotions that are often associated with a great act of sin. Mr. Arthur Dimmesdale, a highly respected minister of a 17th century Puritan community, is true example of this as he was somehow affected by all of these emotions after committing adultery. Due to the seven years of torturous internal struggle that finally resulted in his untimely death, Mr. Dimmesdale is the character who suffered the most throughout Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter, guilt, charac] 901 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Arthur Dimmesdale Sins in the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthrone - In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale falls in love with Hester Prynne and commits adultery. Although Hester is punished for her sin and is forced to wear the ‘A’ on her bosom for the rest of her life, Dimmesdale conceals his sin to the public because he is fearful of ruining his saintly image by voicing his secret. Throughout the novel, Dimmesdale is responsible for two sins, one of his adultery with Hester and the other of his pusillanimous failure to confess....   [tags: confess, adultery, sin] 1031 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Symbolism for Adam and Eve in Nathanial Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter" Essay - Through the use of numerous symbols, Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter serves as an allegory for the story of Adam and Eve and its relation to sin, knowledge, and the human condition that is present in human society. Curious for the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, which resulted in the revelation of their “humanness” and expulsion from the “divine garden” as they then suffered the pain and joy of being humans. Just as Adam and Eve were expelled from their society and suffered in their own being, so were Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter....   [tags: Adam and Eve, Nathanial Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter,] 1031 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Torment and Suffering in The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn - Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is one of the most famous American author of all American literaturary history. The novel is treated as one of the greatest novel in American literary history. In the sotry, Hester, the main character of the novel, is condemned to wear the scarlet letter "A" on her chest as a permanent sign of her sin. The author describes torment suffered by Hester and her partner of the adultery, the minister Arthur Dimmesdale in the later years. The story begins at the end of Hester's imprisonment after her affair and through many years to her final acceptance of her place in the community as the wearer of the scarlet letter a symbol of shame....   [tags: puritan society, slavery, letter A] 642 words
(1.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter - Effects of Sin Upon Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale - The Effects of Sin Upon Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter Hawthorn shows sins of several different kinds in numerous people, as well as the consequences and remedies of their sins. Three main characters; Hester Prynne, Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth bare the most of these sins. Arthur Dimmesdale, however, bares the most brutal effects of such sin. This is due to several reasons. The most observable reason for his eventual breakdown is the fact that he keeps his sin a secret....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays] 839 words
(2.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Role of an Angry God in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter - The Role of an Angry God in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter The Scarlet Letter was a novel that was written in the early 1850s by a renowned author, Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850. Some people say that Hawthorne intended the book to portray God as a benevolent, forgiving, and loving god. Others, such as myself, believe that he had a different idea of who God was; The Scarlet Letter was written in a way that would portray God as an angry, vengeful, being that was slow to forgive. God put seven years of suffering upon Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, for a sin whom he committed with Hester Prynne....   [tags: Scarlet Letter Essays] 1068 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Blameless Pearl in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay - The Scarlet Letter - The Suffering of the Blameless Pearl    The Puritan life is based purely on sin. The Puritans believe that all people are sinners and are thus despised and hated by God. Sinners are subject to the worst punishments and suffer the worst torment. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, The Scarlet Letter, several characters serve as models of sinners in agony from their error. Both Arthur Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne bear the punishment of their adultery, which evidenced itself in their daughter Pearl....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1121 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Justice Explored in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Essay - Justice Explored in The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne created themes in The Scarlet Letter just as significant as the obvious ideas pertaining to sin and Puritan society. Roger Chillingworth is a character through which one of these themes resonates, and a character that is often underplayed in analysis. His weakness and path of destruction of himself and others are summed up in one of Chillingworth's last sentences in the novel, to Arthur Dimmesdale: "Hadst thou sought the whole earth over......   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays] 1031 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay Resolution of Sin in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter - Resolution of Sin in The Scarlet Letter Hester Prynne is a young, beautiful woman who was sent to Boston by her husband who planned to join her but was persumed lost at sea. She looked to Arthur Dimmesdale for comfort and spiritual guidance. Their solace became passion and resulted in the sin of adultery and the birth of their daughter, Pearl. This sin had a huge impact on them and changed their lives forever. It is what the book The Scarlet Letter is all about and how different the characters dealt with it....   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays] 549 words
(1.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Dimmesdale Lacks Courage in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter - The Scarlet Letter - Dimmesdale is Good, but Lacks Courage               There is a fine line between hypocrisy and cowardice.  Arthur Dimmesdale, a principal character in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter provides a perfect example of how thin that line can be.   The Scarlet Letter relates a story about sin and the many consequences of not having strength of character.  The true nature of Reverend Dimmesdale's character has been debated since the first publication of the novel.  Dimmesdale is considered by many to be a hypocrite because he cared more about protecting his reputation than he did about protecting the woman he loved.   Others view the Reverend in a more sympathetic light and s...   [tags: Scarlet Letter essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
2162 words
(6.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]