Scarlet Letter Essay

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English – Mp 3
Pd 7 December 22, 2009
Scarlet Letter Essay

The Scarlett Letter displays a moral lesson to all its readers. The character, Reverend Dimmesdale commits the sin of adultery and throughout the book goes through a struggle within himself. Chapter 12: The Minister's Vigil and Chapter 20: The Minister in a Maze show this struggle within Dimmesdale through similar and different dealings. Chapter 12 is when the minister's own subconscious takes control of his action and he goes to the scaffold at night as an indirect way of confessing his sin and guilt. In chapter 20, the minister has various thoughts that are not in his nature, like in chapter 12 it wouldn't be in the minister's own nature to go to the scaffold. In both chapters there are various mental activities that can explain this.

In chapter 12 of the Scarlet Letter, the minister goes to the scaffold at night subconsciously. Dimmesdale is not capable of confessing his sin, so his subconscious tries to relieve the conflict he has between his lack of will to confess and his puritan conscious. "Walking in the shadow of a dream, as it were and perhaps actually under the influence of a type of somnambulism, Mr. Dimmesdale reached the spite where, now so long since, Hester Prynne had lived through her first hours of public ignominy." Hawthorne through this sentence explains that the minister is sleep walking to the scaffold. It is not in his own conscious control and his subconscious is making the minister do this. In his mind, he can no longer take the guilt, but yet he can't confess, so his subconscious takes control to help relieve the conflict by trying to make Dimmesdale confess. His Puritan conscious is a strong part of Dimmesdale, unlike in later chapters.

After chapter 17, when Dimmesdale agreed to a deliberate sin, his Puritan conscious felt betrayed and left behind. Now without his own Puritan conscious in his mind, Dimmesdale is tempted to do many wicked...
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