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Arthur Dimmesdale And Hester Prynne In The Scarlett Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Imagine being an influential leader of the public but knowing deep down you disappointed them. Imagine walking through town knowing that you are a hypocrite. Imagine being the parent that gave birth to a “demon.” Nathaniel Hawthorne depicts these situations in The Scarlett Letter. He utilizes Arthur Dimmesdale and Hester Prynne, to demonstrate how owning one’s sin can positively impact one physically or mentally. Dimmesdale commits a sin by impregnating Hester. Unlike Hester, Dimmesdale never openly admits to his mistake. He copes with the guilt of sin aggressively, striking and whipping himself. Hester, on the other hand, handles the situation by doing charity work and being productive despite the criticism she receives for her previous actions. However, Hester is affected mentally more than she is physically. Before showing the difference between Hester and Dimmesdale, Hawthorne attempts to put them both on the same ground so they can be compared. He does this by making them both involved in the same crime. However, it is impossible to make both characters equal. Hester lived in the outskirts of town as a seamstress …show more content…
“Dimmesdale abandoned Hester and Pearl to save his reputation as a reverend” (Scarlett Letter). He deals with his guilt in private. In his secret closet “there was a bloody scourge. Often times, this Protestant and Puritan divine had plied it on his own shoulders; laughing bitterly at himself the while, and smiting so much the more pitilessly because of that bitter laugh” (Hawthorne, 96). Arthur abuses himself physically because of his strong religious background. He not only whipped himself, but “it was his custom, too, as it has been that of many other pious Puritans, to fast” (Hawthorne, 96). However, he did these actions to an extreme. Done to purify the body, Dimmesdale abuses himself until his knees tremble. He maltreats his body to cope with the sin, instead of openly admitting to

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