Arthur Dimmesdale is the pastor of this small puritan town, who has a secret affair with this girl named Hester Prynne. Hester gets pregnant and is publicly shamed in front of everyone in the town. Dimmesdale decides not to come out and tell everyone that he is her lover, by not doing this Dimmesdale causes himself great emotional pain. Most people just inferred that Dimmesdale would never do anything like this and didn't even think to question him. Unlike Ms. Prynne who confronts her guilt and shame early on in the story, Dimmesdale holds onto his guilt secretly until he finally goes through a process of, at first blaming Hester, then realizing that it wasn't all her fault, to having such strong guilt that he starts hurting himself, to doubting that he will ever get better, after which he comes out and shows everyone his scarlet letter, this process frees him to come to peace with what he did and accept his guilt and himself.
Arthur Dimmesdale is one troubled man. He is the reverend in a Puritan colony. Which complicates that he was also Hester Prynne’s secret lover and the father of her child, Pearl. Thats when things get complicated. Dimmesdale not only acts hurt that Hester would go and have an affair in the colony, but he even tries to publicly pressure Hester into telling the town who her secret lover is. If thou feelest it to be for thy soul's peace, and that they earthly punishment will thereby be made more effectual to salvation, I charge thee to speak out the name of thy fellow-sinner and fellow-suffer. (50) This shows how committed he is to not admitting his guilt but instead, he loads it all onto to Hester to take action. Dimmesdale almost commands Hester to state who her secret lover -“I charge thee”- but she still refuses. He tries to convince her that by refusing she is making it worse for her -“fellow-sinner”- and that she is just further delaying their salvation. Dimmesdale also states that for her own -“soul’s peace”- Hester needs to repent....
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