21 October 2011
The Struggle for the Soul of Arthur Dimmesdale
In the novel, The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne relates the struggle of Dimmesdale’s soul to the classic model of good vs. evil.
Arthur Dimmesdale has committed a sin that is heavily frowned upon throughout his community, though; nobody in the community knows what that sin is besides Hester Prynne. Dimmesdale is the minister of the community and he has committed the sin of adultery, partaking in an affair with Hester Prynne while she long waited for her Husband to arrive at Boston. Dimmesdale, being a religious leader, goes through the struggle for salvation throughout the novel because the action of his sin that he has committed is killing his conscious. Throughout this novel, Dimmesdale is being pulled by the two sides of good vs. evil.
In this novel, Roger Chillingworth plays as the role of evil, tormenting the life of Arthur Dimmesdale, with the intent of revenge on his mind. Rather than playing the role of a common doctor, Chillingworth is interested in revenge, not righteousness. With the change of name on his arrival in Boston, Chillingworth has hidden his past from everybody except Hester who is sworn to secrecy (Hawthorne 117). He includes himself into the society in the role of a doctor and since the town lacks any sufficient medical care, he is welcomed (Hawthorne 118). Coincidentally, Dimmesdale has been suffering from several health problems and appears to be in pain by frequently grabbing his chest as though his heart is hurting him. Chillingworth then urges the town leadership to insist that Dimmesdale allow Chillingworth to be his medical adviser and accompany Dimmesdale in his residence. By this, Chillingworth may be able to diagnose and possibly cure Dimmesdale (Hawthorne 121). Chillingworth holds a gut feeling that Dimmesdale’s health problems may relate to the sin of adultery that Hester has committed. Throughout the novel, Chillingworth stands by his...