The Scarlet Letter
The scarlet letter is a tragedy. The puritan society is responsible for Dimmesdale's downfall because its members expect him to be perfect, and he is not. His inability to give the people what they require from him ultimately leads to his downfall. Dimmesdale has an affair with Hester Prynne, a married Puritan woman. Hester gives birth to their daughter, Pearl. "Children have always a sympathy in the agitations of those connected with them; always, especially, a sense of any trouble or impending revolution, of whatever kind, in domestic circumstances; and therefore Pearl, who was the gem on her mother's unquiet bosom, betrayed, by the very dance of her spirits, the emotions which none could detect in the marble passiveness of Hester's brow" (164).
Arthur Dimmesdale is the reverend. He is a very trustworthy man and a lot of people look up to him. He is seen as a great guy who does nothing but good. The Puritan society sees no evil in this man's eyes, but they are wrong. Arthur Dimmesdale has a very big sin that no one knows about. He has sex with Hester Prynne while she is already married. This affair leads to Hester getting pregnant and she gives birth to her baby, Pearl. Dimmesdale is Pearl's father. Only Hester and Dimmesdale know this though. He is afraid of what society might think of him so he makes Hester promise to keep this a secret. He is a man who cares about his reputation and he knows this will destroy it.
However, Hester is not so worried about her reputation. She knows she can not hide the fact she is pregnant so she decides to embrace it. "In a moment, however, wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another, she took the baby on her arm, and, with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbors. On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic...
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