Secrets and the Scarlet Letter

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Margot Widdis
English Period 3
Ms. Tominack
March 3, 2011
“A secret between two is God's secret, between three is all men’s.”-Spanish Proverb. Secrets are not meant for being told. Usually everyone is supposed to take secrets “to their grave.” In certain circumstances, they must be told. Even though you’re thwarting your own honor by telling a secret, sometimes it must be done. In most cases, secrets should be kept, but in The Scarlet Letter, there are some that need to be told. There's nothing more powerful than finding someone safe to tell "the secret" to.  No one knows how hard it is, unless they've been there.  Your heart pounds, your body is rock rigid, you grind your teeth, your mouth is dry.  You think of all the excuses to keep your mouth shut.  They'll get mad. They'll laugh. They'll reject you.  They'll treat it like it was nothing and tell you to forget about it.  Or worse: they'll be polite, nod their head like they understand, leave and not ever have anything to do with you again. Even then, the depth of doubt, self-hate, fear and insecurity is so strong, that even after you tell even to someone who's been through it too you leave and wonder, did I say too much?  Did I do the right thing?  Will they hate me?  Only experience lets you know your trust wasn't for nothing. In the Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne, Roger Chillingworth, and Arthur Dimmesdale all have secrets. They will do whatever they can to keep their secrets a secret. Except for Hester, whose secret has been made public by her wearing the scarlet letter A. Arthur Dimmesdale’s secret is the most lethal. He is keeping his secret to protect his reputation even though it’s eating away at him and keeping him from what he wants most; Hester. For example, in chapter 17 page 182, we are told that Dimmesdale’s secret has taken hold of his life and made him a miserable man. "There is no substance in it! It is cold and dead, and can do nothing for me! Of penance I have had enough! Of...
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